Jobs boost as Hinkley Point C construction enters next phase

08 July 2020

EDF Energy expects 1200 new jobs and 300 apprentices to be created in the next phase of construction of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power plant in Somerset, England. They will become part of the 4000 strong workforce who will fit electrical systems, cables and pipes at the plant.

One of the five storage tanks recently installed by the MEH Alliance at the Hinkley Point C construction site (Image: EDF Energy)

The work is being delivered by the MEH Alliance, a joint venture created in September 2018 by EDF and its contractors Altrad, Balfour Beatty Bailey, Cavendish Nuclear and Doosan Babcock. MEH stands for mechanical, electrical, and HVAC for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The fitting of the first five of 156 storage tanks has marked the beginning of main MEH work on site. The walled-in tanks are designed to contain, store, distribute and prepare various fluids in support of reactor operations, including coolant, oil, effluents and additives. The tanks represent a critical part of the Hinkley Point C infrastructure. This year, about 24 more tanks will be installed.

Recently, Stone, Staffordshire-based Capula was awarded a contract to design and build instrument and control cabinets, which will create 50 new jobs. Bury, Lancashire-based Excite Hargreaves will create 30 new jobs to design, manufacture and commission ventilation systems. Warrington-based Bilfinger UK recently announced it is creating 350 jobs to design and manufacture specialist pipework for Hinkley Point C.

"Hinkley Point C will deliver a long-term socio-economic legacy for the UK - helping to overcome critical national skills shortages whilst opening up new, sustainable, career opportunities for people throughout the country," EDF Energy said. "Many of the new workers will be making use of new locally based training facilities such as a welding and electrical centre of excellence."

A new welding centre in Bridgwater, Somerset is supported by the MEH Alliance, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, the Weldability SiF Foundation and South West Institute of Technology and Bridgwater & Taunton College. The centre plans to train and qualify 350-500 welders annually, benefitting people and industries across the South-West of England and beyond.

Simon Parsons, Hinkley Point C MEH programme director, said: "Together we are delivering on our promise to build Britain's industrial capability by creating new jobs and skills," adding that the planned construction of a near identical plant at Sizewell C in Suffolk will bring further opportunities for EDF's UK supply chain.

Under a strategic investment agreement signed in October 2016, China General Nuclear agreed to take a 33.5% stake in EDF Energy's Hinkley Point C project, as well as jointly develop new nuclear power plants at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex. The HPC and Sizewell C plants will be based on France's EPR technology, while the new plant at Bradwell will feature the Chinese Hualong One design.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News