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Highlands and Islands businesses encouraged to target decommissioning work

03 September 2010

A project has been launched encouraging Scottish companies to go nuclear in a bid to win new contracts.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Enterprise are looking for businesses with the potential to target lucrative decommissioning work. The agencies want to raise awareness of the range of opportunities available, particularly if smaller businesses work together to bid for contracts.

Keith Muir, who is based in HIE's Thurso office, says despite having a range of experience working in hostile environments, Scotland is under-represented in the UK decommissioning sector supply chain.

He said: "Scotland's experience at Dounreay and in the oil and gas industry generally means our workers have skills which are directly related or can be adapted to decommissioning work, but there are also significant opportunities within the supply chain. This could be for any kind of business from ventilation system installers to raw material suppliers."

Technology and industry specialists, TWI Ltd are leading the project to prepare Scottish businesses keen to take advantage of the international opportunities which exist. A range of workshops will deliver market intelligence, create links with site operators and raise awareness on work which may be available. Sessions will be run in the Highlands and Islands in the new year.

Work has already started on the first phase of the project, which is to create a web presence with information for the industry, and to build a database of Scottish companies to target for engagement in the project. Companies who think they would like to know more should contact Keith Muir or their local area HIE office.

Colin Walters , TWI's Nuclear Sector Manager , said: "TWI Ltd is delighted to have been appointed as a delivery partner on this exciting project for Scotland. We look forward to working with the enterprise agencies to help maximise the potential for ambitious companies across Scotland to gain the greatest benefit from the wide range of opportunities presented by the nuclear decommissioning sector.'

Keith Muir added: "Some contractors think that anyone who wants to get work in decommissioning must have very specialised skills. This is not always the case. By encouraging smaller Scottish companies to work together we want to look at how they can access larger tender opportunities."

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