Springfields Fuels are located near Preston in Lancashire, they employ around 900 people at the Springfields site which has operated since 1946 and processes several thousand tons of uranium a year and manufactures fuel for nuclear reactors worldwide. Most of the fuel requirements for the U.K.’s nuclear power stations are met by Springfields and around 15% of all the electricity generated in the U.K. comes from power stations using nuclear fuel manufactured at Springfields.

NE Consult has worked with Springfields since 2010 providing commercial and contractual advice and training to support their projects which are mainly procured using NEC contracts.

We initially designed and delivered an intensive training programme for them, consisting of 11 workshops delivered to around 100 delegates over a 2-month period. Springfields were new to NEC so the programme was designed to quickly up-skill their commercial, engineering, procurement, projects and legal teams in all aspects of the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract and Term Service Contract.

Since the initial training programme we have continued to provide support and advice to Springfields on an ad hoc basis. These are some examples of work we have done for them:

– Pre-tender review of a NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract for a compressor system
– Pre-tender review of a 5-year multi-disciplinary maintenance contract using the NEC4 Term Service Contract
– Support negotiation and settlement of a dispute on a NEC3 Term Service Contract
– Draft and negotiate a deed of variation to a NEC3 Term Service Contract in dispute
– Provision of advice on the termination of an NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract

In the early stages of the relationship we had a greater involvement in the day to day management of contracts however, as Springfields’ confidence and experience with using NEC contracts increased the need for our support diminished. We are now only asked to advise on more complex or technical issues and to support contracts that are not performing.

NE Consult’s approach is always to transfer our skills and expertise into a client’s organisation with the ultimate goal being that they eventually become self-sufficient. We like to work our way out of a job – which might not be the best business strategy, but it is how we define success.