Being able to respond quickly and efficiently to tight deadlines has paid dividends for Nailsea-based water treatment and land remediation systems specialist Cornelsen Ltd.
The company secured its very first contract at Hinkley Point C back in 2016 to provide a temporary groundwater treatment plant in just a matter of weeks – the team managed to design and build the plant in around 10 weeks and had it installed on site and partly operational just 12 weeks from the order!
From there, the construction of another groundwater treatment plant was similarly designed and built in a very short space of time – from concept to operation within six months. The plant had triple the capacity of the temporary plant.
Matthew Ingram, Engineering Manager at Cornelsen Ltd, said: “We began to get a reputation for being able to implement equipment really quickly and simply on site and that led to the additional work with mobile units around site as required and installing pipelines or pipe bridges.
“Working on this large project, it was really good to see how our staff evolved to pull together as a strong team when required and how they and the Hinkley Point C and KierBAM teams interacted routinely to provide rapid and substantial solutions to any problems that cropped up.”
Cornelsen Ltd was initially employed directly by EDF to provide a temporary groundwater treatment plant to treat all abstracted water from the network of dewatering wells across the site prior to the deep dig.
Focussed primarily on the southern section of site and the galleries, the temporary plant operated from September 2016 to June 2017 and featured many components which were custom-made for the project.
Treatment processes involved: solids settlement, depth filtration, reverse-osmosis and water softening (ion exchange) to remove solids and metals from the water. The company also provided a service technician to operate and maintain the plant during the week.
Then from June 2017 to November 2019, Cornelsen provided a groundwater treatment plant and operating staff to treat all abstracted water from the site during deep dig operations. They also provided moveable treatment works at four locations on site to reduce suspended solids in groundwater and excavation water.
The company was then contracted by KeirBAM and, latterly, by Wessex Water, who inherited the contract from KierBAM.
“Our team supplied and installed pipes to the decoupling wall to carry various groundwater flows along the edge of the deep dig. The installation included a significant amount of support racking, and design of this and its connection to the wall.
“A total of around 2,500m of piping in various diameters was installed, welded in-situ and tested. Almost all of the install was carried out in a narrow area that could be accessed only from either end making the installation challenging,” Mr Ingram said.
Cornelsen Ltd also carried out ad-hoc operations and maintenance work on the groundwater recovery system as required and provided a groundwater pumping system, which monitors water quality and records data: “This unit pumps all the abstracted groundwater sent from the network of peripheral dewatering wells to the outfall tank at the jetty. It will remain in place to the end of the build when the permanent pressure relief well system is commissioned,” Mr Ingram said.
Most of the treatment plants were prepared and constructed at the company’s workshops in Nailsea before being installed at site.
Mr Ingram added: “The teams collaborated really effectively throughout the project and there was never a problem unresolved as a result. I remain impressed by our staff, but also by the working ethics and professionalism of the Hinkley Point C team in the manner of problem resolution and finding solutions in very short timescales. It was great to have been a part of it.”
More information about Cornelsen Ltd is available on the website www.cornelsen.co.uk.