EDF Energy is in talks with about four consultants over a deal likely to be its first nuclear new-build contract in the UK

The utility giant issued tender documents labelled “nuclear new build tender 00001” to a “select group” of consultants about a fortnight ago, according to sources close to the process.

It is understood the deal is a 10-year appointment to provide cost and project management consultancy services across four power stations in the UK.

The decision to go to market with the deal, which could be worth up to £30m in fees, is a crucial indicator of the utility firm’s commitment to move ahead quickly with a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK. It is expected that an appointment will be made swiftly, possibly within the next month.

The company intends to have completed four power stations by 2025, beginning with Hinkley Point in Somerset. Contractors are lining up bids for the £100m preliminary works contract. Joint ventures between Balfour Beatty and Vinci, and Kier and Bam Nuttall are known to be bidding.

Paul Spence, director of strategy and regulation at EDF, said each reactor would take five years to build.