EDF Energy Somerset Chamber of Commerce SWMAS Business West
  1. Hinkley Professional Services Group Relaunch

    December 17, 2019

    A specialist group of legal, financial and management professionals dedicated to advising businesses trying to win work at Hinkley Point C (HPC) will be relaunching in the New Year with an updated website, new members profiles, case studies and a communications plan.

    As of 1 January 2020, the Hinkley Professional Services Group (PSG) will be officially relaunched and the group’s first event, a Business Advice Surgery, will take place later in the month on 28 January at the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre.

    Hinkley PSG members will be providing advice alongside representatives from the Hinkley Supply Chain. Places can be booked online via this link

    The concept of the Hinkley PSG was first suggested back in 2016, when EDF Energy and the Hinkley Supply Chain realised there was a need for a specialist professional service group of regional firms which could provide advice to businesses wishing to bid for work at or connected to HPC.

    HPC has always been more than just the construction of a power station, it has been a catalyst for meeting the Government’s ambition for low carbon energy alongside developing skills, improving productivity and fostering collaborative working.

    Collaboration has been championed by EDF Energy from the outset, with many joint ventures and consortia being formed to help deliver the project on time, on budget and to the right quality.

    So, in 2017 the Hinkley PSG consisting of law firms, accountancy practices, finance companies, finance brokers, human resources and project management specialists was formed. Over the following two years a number of those businesses in the PSG gained direct experience of advising businesses or consortia involved in the HPC project or developed relevant transferrable experience.

    During 2019, it was decided to review how the PSG was performing to ensure that it was still relevant to the Hinkley project and to inject new impetus, particularly as the project was moving to the next major phase of construction. Supported by the Hinkley Supply Chain, the terms of reference and membership was reviewed to ensure it was fit for purpose over the coming years.

    Following consultations with all founding PSG businesses, it was decided to re-structure through the creation of a board and revised objectives with all remaining PSG group members committed to share best practice through workshops, information sheets and initial free consultations. They would also financially support the PSG to create materials and organise events and be an active ambassador for future new nuclear energy projects.

    All members, as a pre-requisite, had to demonstrate they could provide advice for businesses going through various stages of contracts, including tender preparation, NEC3 and other contract negotiation, mobilisation and contract delivery. While some of the founding members had left the group, new members would be sought and welcomed based on expertise and commitment

    More information about the Hinkley PSG can be found online at www.proservgroup.co.uk


  2. HPC News Update – December 2019

    December 10, 2019

    Deep Dig team nearing the end

    After three years of work, Kier Bam’s deep dig team is close to completing its work on the initial site preparation work. The deep dig has been a central element of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) Project since construction began and has allowed the start of the main civils works.

    The team began work in December 2016, having previously spent six months carrying out preliminary earthworks ahead of their main excavations.

    Neil Adams, deep dig section manager, said: “Highlights for us have been completing key goals along the way. Among them are getting to the bottom of the 35m-deep Unit 1 heat sink and completing the pre-stressing gallery for the Unit 1 nuclear island, which was key to the completing the foundations for the reactor itself.

    “Everyone is really proud of what we’ve achieved here”

    Bylor continues to make progress

    Bylor are making progress on a further set of weather-proof pre fabrication buildings. A new concrete structure close to the centre of the site gives the Bylor team a fully enclosed, weatherproof space where they can prefabricate components. To date, Bylor has installed 310 tonnes of rebar and poured more than 2,300m³ of concrete to build the building. A removable roof will cover the 23m-high structure when it’s complete.

    Final batching plant tested

    Bylor’s “Team Concrete” has been putting HPC’s fourth and final concrete batching plant through its paces since it went live in October.

    Cooling water system takes shape

    Socea Denys has completed the final level of the of the first phase of the CRF system, an important part of the cooling water intake structure.


  3. Hinkley Point C News Update – October 2019

    October 11, 2019

    Work starts on first intake tunnel

    The first of the Hinkley Point C’s (HPC) three tunnel boring machines, operated by Balfour Beatty, has successfully started the construction of intake tunnel 1.

    There will be three water cooling tunnels which will feed water to the power station when its operational.

    Balfour Beatty is using its factory at Avonmouth to create the 38,000 segments that will make up the 6,000 rings needed for the three tunnels.

    When built, the intake tunnels will be 6m in diameter and 3.5km long and draw 120,000 litres of water in from the Bristol Channel every second.

    The tunnel boring machine working on tunnel 1 has been named Mary by local primary school children after Lyme Regis palaeontologist Mary Anning.

    Twelve operators, including a pilot, run the 1,200-tonne machine, with support teams based at the surface. The multi-discipline team includes apprentices, graduates, quantity surveyors, ground surveyors and temporary works engineers.

    Laying the foundations for new electricity substation

    Work is now underway to create the new electricity substation that will plug HPC into the National Grid. Led by National Grid, a team from Linxon has been working on the building’s foundations. As part of the wider project to bring power from HPC to UK homes and businesses, National Grid will use new T-pylon designs for the first time anywhere in the world for the 57km connection between Bridgwater and Avonmouth. In total, 13 new pylons will be built nearby to connect the power station to the national network. James Goode, National Grid Senior Project Manager, said: “We’re pleased and proud to be bringing HPC’s electricity to the network. This is also a fantastic opportunity to inspire the next generation of engineers and young people across the region to take up STEM careers.”

    Fourth concrete batching plant completed

    The fourth and final batching plant has been set to work, mixing high-quality nuclear standard concrete. Mechanical and electrical works on the batching plant were completed at the end of September. Since then, the team responsible for delivering the huge volumes of concrete needed have put it through its paces and it’s now supplying concrete that is Quality Related Activity (QRA) approved. Peter Abel, Chief Materials Officer at Bylor, said: “We’ve done a lot of the learning with the first three plants and we’ve got it down to a rapid process now with plant 4.”

    Like its fellow batching plants, the fourth can produce 70m3 of concrete per hour. Plants 1, 2 and 3 have supplied more than 450,000m3 of concrete to the Project so far. Peter added: “Having a fourth plant now gives us total flexibility.”


  4. Hinkley Point C News Update – September 2019

    September 16, 2019

    Big Carl ready for next big milestone

    Sarens SGC-250

    The world’s largest crane is ready to start work at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station site. Able to stand up to 250m tall, “Big Carl” can reach higher than the tallest tower at London’s Canary Wharf and can carry 5,000 tonnes in a single lift.

    The new Sarens SGC-250 crane was shown off on-site at Hinkley Point C today where it will be used to lift large prefabricated sections of the power station into place. The crane was developed to support the growing trend towards modularisation in big construction – and its deployment allows Hinkley Point C to exploit this innovation on a large scale.

    The crane’s huge size and capacity allows large components to be built in covered factory conditions on site, improving quality and saving time. The success of prefabrication has already been proved during construction of the two operational EPRs built by EDF and CGN at Taishan in China. Its use at Hinkley Point C is another example of the innovation made possible by experience gained and applied from other nuclear construction projects.

     

    Pipes in progress

    Hinkley Point C’s Tier 1 contractor Socea Denys completed its biggest concrete pour to date in August, placing 1,900m3 of concrete for the Unit 1 inlet cooling water pipe. Construction of the cooling pipe means Bylor can start building the Unit 1 turbine building later in the year. The name ‘CRF’ comes from the French term ‘Circuit de Refroidissement’, meaning cooling water circuit.

    Balfour Beatty has made significant progress in the construction of the cooling water tunnels, as the first permanent segment ring has been installed into intake tunnel 1. The ring is made up of six segments, all of which have been built by the Balfour Beatty team in the Avonmouth segment factory.

     

    Liner cup takes shape

    A specialist welding machine was used to perform 36 plasma welds for the first liner cup. The liner cup forms one of the five parts of the the first reator’s containment liner.

    The high-quality welding process ensures the liner cup bottom is completely flat. Plates are then cut to complete the circular cup.

     

    Pump House progress

    The Bylor Heat Sink team is making progress constructing the Pump House. More than 9,000m³ of concrete has been poured to complete the first raft slab, which will reinforce and strengthen the Pump House and its cooling water system. A network of steel cylinder concrete pipes (SCCP), which will eventually transport seawater from the Bristol Channel to the condenser via the Pump House, has arrived on Site. The first concrete pour for the Unit 2 raft in the Heat Sink has begun and walls are being constructed for the 54m-high Pump House.

     

     


  5. Hinkley Point C hits it’s biggest milestone yet

    June 28, 2019

    Hinkley Point C has hit its biggest milestone yet on schedule. The completion of the base for the first reactor, known as “J-zero”, means that the construction of the nuclear buildings above ground can now begin in earnest.

    The final 9,000m³ of concrete was the largest concrete pour in the UK, beating a record set by the Shard in London.  Reinforced with 5,000 tonnes of Welsh steel, the base has been under construction by the UK-French joint venture of Bouygues-Laing O’Rourke for six months.

    The event is due to be marked by a visit from the minister responsible for nuclear energy, Andrew Stephenson MP, who will see the construction site today (Friday June 28) and meet apprentices at the National College for Nuclear.

    Good progress and efficiency improvements means that the second Hinkley Point C reactor will hit its own J-zero moment in June 2020.

    Final contracts have now been signed for an innovative joint venture to install the pipes and cables at the power station. The MEH (mechanical, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning) Joint Venture (JV) brings UK contractors Balfour Beatty, Cavendish, Altrad and Doosan together to share expertise and incentivise collaboration and efficiency. The JV was influenced by the success of a single organisation carrying out this complex work during construction at Taishan, the EPR nuclear power station operating in China.

    Pipework will be made by Bilfinger, in Immingham, at a modernised facility which will boost UK industrial capacity in this highly-specialised area.

    Hinkley Point C is working to tackle the UK skills shortage in welding by working with the MEH JV, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, the Weldability Foundation, South West Institute of Technology and Bridgwater & Taunton College, to develop a new welding centre of excellence in Bridgwater.

    Making use of EDF Energy’s £4.5 million investment at the college, the centre will train and qualify the UK’s next generation of welders, benefitting people and industries across the South-West. With the ambition to provide 350-500 welding NVQ qualifications per year, the initiative shows nuclear’s ability to create a positive impact for UK skills.

    Hinkley Point C’s reliable low carbon electricity will play a vital role in helping the UK tackle the climate change crisis. With a large expansion of renewables, it will make “net zero” emissions possible and help the UK have an affordable and secure electricity supply.  Innovation and the transfer of design, skills and experience from Hinkley Point C means the proposed near-identical project at Sizewell C can be significantly cheaper to build and finance, and that subsequent projects at Bradwell B and elsewhere will also benefit.

    The construction of the second of Hinkley Point C’s two units is well underway and is already showing the improved efficiency possible when an identical design is repeated. The 12 months separation offers maximum efficiency for the transfer of teams between units.

    • Almost 4,000 people are now working at Hinkley Point C. Half of them are from the local area
    • Forgings for the pressure vessel and steam generators are underway at Framatome in France and the world’s largest turbine is under construction at GE
    • The world’s largest crane – the Sarens SGC 250 – is taking shape on site to allow prefabrication of large parts of the nuclear buildings, which improves quality and saves time. This is an innovation informed by experience from previous EPR projects
    • £1.5bn of contracts have been awarded in the South-West and 64% of the project value is being spent with UK firms
    • 430 of 1,000 apprentices have been hired and 8,500 people have been trained and assessed at the specially built Construction Skills and Innovation Centre near the site

    Minister for Nuclear at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, Andrew Stephenson said: “This is a huge achievement for Hinkley Point C and a major milestone for the UK’s nuclear new-build industry, which – as a low-carbon electricity source -is key to meeting our ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050.

    “The project will not only power nearly six million homes, it will add an enormous boost to the local and national economy, delivering over 25,000 new jobs and securing long-term, well-paid employment – a key step in delivering clean growth as part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

    Hinkley Point C Managing Director, Stuart Crooks said: “I am proud of the talent and achievement of our diverse UK workforce, our unions, our international supply chain and the design team in France. We are benefitting from direct experience from other EPR projects and a partner in CGN which understands the technology and the project

    EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi said: “Hinkley Point C’s progress is good news for anyone concerned about the climate change crisis.  Its reliable low carbon power will be essential for a future with no unabated coal and gas and a large expansion of renewable power. The innovation at Hinkley Point C sets up the opportunity to reduce costs for consumers for a near identical power station at Sizewell C in Suffolk.”

    CGN UK CEO Zheng Dongshan said: “CGN is proud to play an integral part in the Hinkley Point C project as an industrial partner to EDF, bringing our experience from successfully developing the EPR at Taishan, in China.  The project paves the way for a full new nuclear programme that will include our proposal to build our HPR1000 reactor in the UK.”

     


    Information

    • Hinkley Professional Services Group Relaunch

      A specialist group of legal, financial and management professionals dedicated to advising businesses trying to win work at Hinkley Point C (HPC) will be relaunching in the New Year with an updated website, new members profiles, case studies and a communications plan. As of 1 January 2020, the Hinkley Professional Read more →

    • HPC News Update – December 2019

      Deep Dig team nearing the end After three years of work, Kier Bam’s deep dig team is close to completing its work on the initial site preparation work. The deep dig has been a central element of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) Project since construction began and has allowed the Read more →

    • Hinkley Point C News Update – October 2019

      Work starts on first intake tunnel The first of the Hinkley Point C’s (HPC) three tunnel boring machines, operated by Balfour Beatty, has successfully started the construction of intake tunnel 1. There will be three water cooling tunnels which will feed water to the power station when its operational. Balfour Read more →

EDF Energy Heart of SW West of England LEP North Somerset Welsh Government