18 Dec 19
Hinkley Point C

Big Carl - The World's Largest Crane

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

EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future and tackling climate change. We're Britain’s biggest generator of zero-carbon electricity(1), meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.

With around 5 million accounts, EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British homes and businesses and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. All of our home customers get energy tariffs backed by zero-carbon electricity as standard.

We generate low carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, and operate one of Britain’s biggest battery storage units, one gas and one coal power station, thousands of EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants. Wind, nuclear and solar all produce electricity that is zero carbon at the point of generation and have similar emissions over the build, run and retire lifecycles.

EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and is leading the development of plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes. 

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 4GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland which will be ready in 2023.

Our energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK we employ around 13,000 people.