Hinkley Point C – Civils and Electricals Works

Project value:
Project Commenced:
August 2018
Project completed:
May 2019
UK Power Networks Services

About the project

UK Power Networks (UKPN) Services contracted Enable Infrastructure to provide support on the civil and electrical elements of their work at the very large Hinkley Point C project in Somerset, where EDF are building two new nuclear reactors. These will be the first in a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK, providing low-carbon electricity for around six million homes. The nuclear plant construction is expected to take more than ten years. Commissioning of the reactors is currently scheduled to take place in 2027.  

UKPN Services were constructing, supplying and commissioning the high-voltage construction power supply network needed to power the construction site, including the tunnel-boring machines, tower cranes, site accommodation and concrete batching plants. This work included the provision of approximately 45 11kV/400V transformers, 20km of cabling, 60 feeder pillars and associated control equipment. Also included was the fitting-out of the CES switch room with heating, ventilation & air-conditioning (HVAC), and with earthing, lighting and a control room, as well as the installation of the substation and switchgear. 

The contribution of Enable Infrastructure’s (formerly known as BCM Construction) civils and Enable Power Systems teams included providing UKPN Services with project management, civil engineering support and critical specialised resource to construct substation bases, associated chambers, cable duct work and cable installations. We managed the construction of transformer bunds within the 275Kv compound and civil works associated with this. Through making use of civil and power capabilities, the client was able to significantly reduce the burden of contract administration in this multi-disciplinary work. 

Enable Infrastructure also contracted to supply specialist labour and resources, including steel fabricators, formworkers, plant operators, groundworkers and other competent personnel. We used our existing relationships with key local suppliers to provide the necessary specialist services as required. 

“Enable Infrastructure were contracted to deliver substation bases for the Construction Electrical Supplies contract under UKPN Services’ management.  

Their team were highly motivated and safety and delivery-focussed, and we, as a team, have won accolades on site for our ‘Right First Time’ approach to nuclear quality.   

Enable Infrastructure are key suppliers to UKPN Services and a very collaborative sub-contractor partner.” 

Jason Simkins, Programme Manager, Hinkley Point C 

With our commitment to delivering social value through successful infrastructure projects, Enable Infrastructure were pleased to be involved in the Hinkley Point C project, which will make a major contribution to the UK’s reduction of carbon emissions. The electricity it generates will save 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, or 600 million tonnes over its 60-year lifespan. In addition, Hinkley Point C will produce other economic and social benefits. In total, it will offer 25,000 employment opportunities and up to 1,000 apprenticeships, with 64% of the project’s construction value predicted to go to UK companies. 

The challenge

  • The extreme precision required to construct to the highest of specifications and provide similarly high-level quality assurances 
  • Operating in a National Grid Company (NGC) substation environment 
  • Working on a large-scale project, with over 3,000 workers on-site daily 
  • Providing resource to a remote location, whilst ensuring fatigue and travelling times are managed. 

The solution

To undertake the construction installation works to the specifications required, Enable Infrastructure provided resource that was highly skilled and experienced. We also set in place rigid quality assurances. To ensure safety, we made sure that all staff were appropriately competent and trained to NSI (National Safety Instruction) procedures. There were also daily briefings at the site office located in the 275kV NGC compound.  

Daily progress meetings with the client were the key to our operating successfully on a construction site of this scale: they helped ensure that issues were flagged early and that changes were well managed. We employed robust programme development and reporting methodologies. Regular ‘toolbox talks’ and other communications with staff provided real-time information on the ever-evolving site. We met the geographical challenge by deploying a mix of resource, using our relationships with leading suppliers in the South West to supply locally based personnel, while also providing on-site accommodation for those living further afield. 

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