WOOD has been enlisted to help develop plans for a new nuclear power station in the UK which will help cement the company’s position in what it sees as a good growth market.

The Aberdeen-based engineering giant will provide technical assistance for China General Nuclear Power Corporation and EDF Energy as they prepare for a preliminary regulatory assessment of the reactor proposed for Bradwell in Essex.

The value of the framework agreement secured by Wood will not be known until workloads are confirmed.

However, the company has made clear that it regards nuclear engineering as an attractive market at a time when the North Sea oil services industry it made its name in is under pressure.

Spending on new North Sea facilities has dried up amid the downturn triggered by the sharp fall in the crude price since 2014.

Led by chief executive Robin Watson, Wood ramped up its presence in the nuclear market through the £2.2 billion acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler last year.

The chief executive of Wood’s Specialist Technical Solutions business, Bob MacDonald, said: “This agreement advances our strategy to secure a key position in every UK nuclear new build.”

He said the division will ensure the developers have the right support to fully address the safety and environmental requirements of UK nuclear regulation, which is among the most stringent in the world. “CGN brings valuable experience of China’s new build programme, which is the largest in the world,” added Mr MacDonald.

Work under the agreement will be run out of Wood offices in London and China.

The firm recently won £1.5m official funding for research into nuclear decommissioning.