HS2 Contractor launches Virtual Enterprise Academy for SMEs
HS2’s Contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS Railways), is launching a virtual enterprise academy for the second time and looking for SMEs to get involved.
The Academy, running between April and June, offers 150 free places with modules covering HR, health and safety, social value, carbon management innovation, the environment, risk management, finance and commercial awareness.
David Poole, HS2 Ltd’s Procurement and Commercial Director said: "The scale and complexity of HS2 means that we need businesses large and small with a wide range of expertise to work with us. The SCS Railways Enterprise Academy is a great opportunity for SMEs to receive support, prepare to win work and help us deliver this huge project."
To get involved, businesses need to have a turnover of £1 million for 2019/2020, a core business offering that aligns with the construction industry, and must demonstrate why they would like to take part in the Academy.
To date, HS2 has already awarded around £18bn worth of contracts directly and a significant proportion of this value is expected to flow out to the wider supply chain. By the end of 2022, it’s estimated this figure will reach around £25bn. Over 2,000 businesses have already won work on the project, 70% of which are SMEs.
Gareth Evans, SCS Railways’ Head of Procurement and Supply Chain said: "We’re essentially giving a new crop of businesses the opportunity to learn and upskill, so they’re better positioned to compete and operate in our space. We want to give every company that attends the course the requisite tools that we look for in potential partners."
Emerson Cranes, a Buckinghamshire based SME, were one of 16 firms that completed last year’s Enterprise Academy and have gone on to successfully win work on the HS2 project with SCS Railways.
Registration for the Virtual Academy closes on April 6 and to apply for a place, businesses need to register on the CompeteFor portal.
Masdar, PT PLN begin work on floating PV solar project
UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar, in partnership with PT PLN, an organisation specialising in electrical power and owned by the Indonesian government, has announced today it has started work on a floating photovoltaic (PV) solar project in West Java. The company says the 145MW plant is the first of its kind in the country. The project, which will be constructed on the Cirata reservoir in West Java, was financed by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank.
Developing the project is PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture between Masdar and PT PLN subsidiary PT PJBI. Bahlil Lahadalia, Minister of Investment for the Republic of Indonesia and chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, said: “This is a flagship project of the UAE’s investment in Indonesia, and most importantly, it is in line with the Indonesian Government’s target to increase renewable energy by 23% by 2025.”
Ladhadalia added: “The Ministry of Investment fully supports the investment realisation of the Cirata Floating Solar Project by PT PJBI and Masdar.” The plant is said to be the largest in south-east Asia, and one of the biggest in the world. Around 800 jobs will be created during its construction phase.
During the project’s development, Masdar has conducted several social initiatives to raise awareness of sustainability and strengthen the engagement of the local community. Talking about the partnership with Masdar, Amir Faisal, president director of PJBI, said: “We see tremendous potential for similar projects in Indonesia and we look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Masdar to work on more renewable energy projects and help our nation achieve its clean energy objectives.
“This floating power project is a first for Indonesia and is also a significant step in PJBI’s renewable energy journey,” he added.
Facts about solar energy
- Solar power is the most abundant energy source on earth: There’s enough solar energy reaching the earth every hour to meet all of humanity’s power needs for a whole year.
- The cost of solar panels has fallen by 99% since 1977: The price per watt for a single solar cell in 1977 was US$77. Today that same cell costs Us$0.21 per watt US$0.39 per watt for an assembled module, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- China is the global leader in solar energy: Whilst solar power is increasing in popularity in the US, China is currently the country with the biggest uptake. Research conducted by GTM in 2017 predicted that the US would install 12.4GW of solar power during that year. China, on the other hand, installed 24.4GW of power in the first half of 2017 alone.