International property and construction consultancy Gleeds has been commissioned via Perfect Circle to deliver procurement, commercial, and cost management services to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) ground-breaking Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) programme.
Property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Perfect Circle was appointed to support STEP with the delivery of this ambitious programme which sets out to explore the options, challenges, and solutions for accelerating fusion delivery, by bringing on board partners who will engineer and construct the prototype fusion energy plant, capable of producing net electricity.
The plant will be located at the West Burton power station site in Nottinghamshire and will demonstrate that fusion energy can be used to deliver net electricity to the grid, paving the way for future commercial energy plants to be commissioned and constructed.
One of Perfect Circle’s founding partners, Gleeds will initially be responsible for providing comprehensive procurement services to support the selection and on-boarding of STEP’s whole plant partners through a complex procurement process.
Andy Ellis, global head of energy at Gleeds said, “Gleeds is delighted to support the UKAEA STEP programme in delivering its prototype fusion energy plant. This is an incredibly exciting project; not only does it demonstrate viable net energy production, but it also represents an important opportunity for the UK to maintain its role as world leader in fusion technology."
“Fusion will play a hugely important role within the UK clean energy transition as we seek clean, sustainable, low-cost energy sources to replace fossil fuels, and has the potential to generate almost limitless clean energy for future generations. I am delighted that Gleeds’ extensive expertise in the energy sector has secured us a place on the team to support the procurement of future partners.”
Perfect Circle and Gleed’s work on the project will be supported and accelerated forward through the SCAPE Consultancy framework, which helps to drive collaboration, efficiency, time and cost-savings.
Victoria Brambini, managing director of Perfect Circle added, “I’m delighted that our founding partner Gleeds will be delivering this truly ambitious scheme for the UKAEA. The Government-backed STEP programme will bring the site of this former coal-fired power station back to life, creating thousands of jobs during construction and operation, and undoubtably attracting other high-tech industries to Nottinghamshire in the process.”
Mark Robinson, group chief executive at SCAPE said: “We are proud to be collaborating with Perfect Circle and Gleeds on this ground-breaking project, helping to accelerate the scheme forward. As we move closer to the government’s net zero by 2050 target, projects like these are significant in demonstrating how clean power production can be delivered effectively and sustainably to support many future generations to come.”
Sarah Palmer, STEP Strategic Procurement Manager went on to say, “We’re pleased to be working with Gleeds in support of the highly complex procurement of whole plant partners that will work with us through design and construction of the prototype plant."
“Fusion energy has great potential to deliver safe, sustainable, low carbon energy for generations to come. It is sometimes described as the ultimate energy source and is based on the same processes that power the sun and stars.”
This is Gleeds’ second win for the UKAEA, having been named one of just six organisations appointed to its existing Project Delivery Services Framework, which aims to bolster the range of expertise across the UK’s world-leading fusion energy programmes.