18 Dec 19
Hinkley Point C

Big Carl’s first big lift ends successful year at Hinkley Point C

Liner Cup Lift - 18th Dec 2019
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  • New nuclear project hits all milestones in 2019
  • Spectacular pictures released of night-time lift and site progress

Engineers and lifting specialists at Hinkley Point C worked through the night to successfully complete the first big lift by the world’s largest crane. The 250m tall “Big Carl” crane lifted a 170 tonne prefabricated part of the reactor’s steel containment liner into place at 4.30am on Weds (Dec 18). The lift had been carefully planned to take advantage of a small weather window last night. 

The achievement marked the end of a year where all the milestones for the new nuclear power station were met.  As well as being a great feat of skill, the lift is an important example of innovation. Using lessons learned from EPR construction around the world, the liner section was welded and prefabricated under cover in factory conditions on site to improve quality and lower schedule risk.  

Other major achievements in 2019 included:

  • Completion of the first reactor’s base
  • Start of tunnelling  on the three water cooling intakes  deep beneath the Severn Estuary 
  • Completion of the 760m seawall
  • Hiring of the 500th apprentice  
  • Construction of first permanent buildings above ground 

The project is now focused on completing the base of Unit Two in 2020, as planned, 12 months after Unit One.  Productivity improvements between the two units show the benefit of replication and using experienced workers repeating the same design. This approach will be used for the proposed near-identical plant at Sizewell C in Suffolk.

The project is also strengthening UK skills by joining in the creation of a national welding centre in Somerset, a UK nuclear Technical Services Organisation in Gloucester and a UK EPR engineering design centre in Bristol. 

Hinkley Point C Managing Director Stuart Crooks said: “The first big lift is another impressive achievement and I want to thank the teams who’ve worked so hard to make this possible. The experience from civil and nuclear construction and operation across the world at Hinkley Point C is first class and I am pleased to say that we have ended 2019 with all milestones achieved.

“We know that Hinkley Point C’s success is essential in the fight against climate change – in a future when renewables and nuclear will be needed to fill an energy gap as we move away from polluting fossil fuels.”

For more information

Andrew Cockcroft
External Communications Manager (South West)
(T) 01278 484098
(M) 07875113689
andrew.cockcroft@edf-energy.com

About EDF Energy

EDF in the UK is leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future, tackling climate change and helping Britain reach net zero. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.

It generates low carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, and operates one of Britain’s biggest battery storage units, one gas and one coal power station, EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants.

EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and plans for new power stations at Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex. Hinkley Point C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand. The project is already making a positive impact on the local and national economy as well as boosting skills and education.

EDF also invests in a range of low carbon technologies including renewables, solar and battery storage. The company’s largest offshore wind farm is currently being built in Scotland and the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project will be ready in 2023. It is applying research and development expertise to improve the performance of existing generation and developing the potential of new technologies.

EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, to join generation electric and take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity or selling energy back to the grid – everyone is welcome. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF in the UK is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 13,000 people at locations across England and Scotland.