Hinkley Point C: Taking a look at the Uk's largest infrastructure projects and where they are now

Posted on 11 August 2022

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking into the UK’s largest infrastructure projects and seeing where they’re at currently. We’ll be taking a deep dive look into Crossrail, Tideway, Hinkley Point C, Battersea Power station redevelopment, Stonehenge Tunnel, HS2, Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme and Birmingham’s Big City Plan. 

The third project we’ll be looking at is Hinkley Point C, one of the first newest nuclear power stations to be built in the UK over 20 years.

What is Hinkley Point C?

Hinkley Point C will be one of the UK’s first new nuclear stations to be built in Somerset, providing low-carbon electricity to 6 million homes, the project will create thousands of jobs and provide the UK economy with long-lasting benefits.

Incorporating two 1650 megawatt European pressurised nuclear reactors, the nuclear power station will have the capability of generating electricity for an estimated 5 million homes, also generating around 6% of the UK’s electricity in the form of low carbon. The nuclear power station will make a massive contribution to the UK’s effort of reducing carbon emissions.

The nuclear station will create over 25,000 employment opportunities with 1,000 apprenticeships. Announced in 2010 the site was announced along with eight new sites by the British Government in 2010. Construction began in 2017, and since then there have been several delays due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Power station currently has an end date of June 2027 if all goes ahead. 

What Contractors are involved in the project?
  • The project is financed by both EDF Energy and China General Nuclear Power Group

  • BYLOR, Bouygues UK and Laing O’Rourke JV are the main civil contracts covering the civil construction side of the power station

  • Balfour Beatty is constructing the main cooling water tunnels

  • Bouygues Energies & Services are manufacturing, designing and onsite installing diesel generators.

  • Rolls-Royce is designing, manufacturing, installing and commissioning the four-station black diesel generator and heat exchangers

  • UK Power Network is constructing the electrical supplies network with the provision of transformers and cabling.

  • Alstom Powers contract covers the supply, commission and installation of the nuclear reactor, components, reactor pressure valves, generators and more.

History of Hinkley Point C

2010 - Announcement of the site

2011 - EDF submitted a 55,000-page planning application

2012 - Nuclear site licence granted

2014 - European commission approve the project 

2015 - A loan of £2bn is confirmed by George Osbourne

2016 - UK Government approve the project

2017 - construction begins

At what stage is Hinkley Point C

Currently, Hinkley Point C is gearing up for another stage of engineering throughout the summer with a big marine campaign which includes placements of 5,000-tonne cooling-water intakes on the sea, each of these intakes will be connected to five miles of tunnels to circulate cooling water for the project.

At the Hinkley Point C Unit One Turbine Hall, the external walls have been built up to the second level where staircases are due to be built, in due time the Turbine Hall will eventually house the biggest turbine in the world

What’s next?

Over the next half of 2022, the radial walls are going to be built up to be around 19.5m, the reactor pressure vessel will leave the factory at the end of 2022 which will then be fitted through the equipment hatch in the second half of 2023. Columns that separate steam generators and coolant pumps are looking to be levelled up to around 19.5m by the end of 2022.

Let's take a look at the numbers
  • The project will be capable of generating 3,260MW of low-carbon electricity for 60 years.

  • The Nuclear Power Station has an expected cost of £25-26 billion.

  • Hinkley Point C Will deliver 7% of the UK’s electricity.

  • The project will provide 25,000 jobs.

  • When constructed, a workforce of 900 will be required at the site.

  • 5.8 million homes could be powered.

Join us next week where we'll be looking at the Battersea Power Station Redevelopment, a project transforming the 39-year-old derelict power station.


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