Hinkley Point C’s offshore work moves into final stages
New images show two huge jack-up vessels which have arrived off the coast of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, as the project’s offshore work moves into its final phase.
The vessels, named “Neptune” and “Sea Challenger”, will be used to install vital components for the power station’s cooling water system.
Six vertical shafts will be installed at a depth of more than 20-metres, marking the next stage in connecting the six miles of tunnels with the seabed.
Once installed, miners will dig a horizontal connection between the bottom of the shaft and the tunnel. This is the first part of linking the intake and outfall heads with the tunnels. These 5,000-tonne structures were lowered onto the seabed last summer and will circulate water to the two nuclear reactors.
Often used to build offshore wind farms, the platforms’ cranes have a combined lifting capacity of 1,500 tonnes. At 132m, the “Sea Challenger” is longer than a football pitch, and “Neptune” is 60m long.
Each vessel uses its four “legs” to elevate itself above sea level – so it can operate safely without being impacted by waves and currents.
Work to install the shafts will continue into the Autumn.