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Hinkley Point C is one of the biggest construction projects in Europe. EDF and its partner investors have commenced the construction of this multi-billion pound project to build a power station which should produce almost four times more electricity than Hinkley Point B’s two reactors can produce.

But what does that mean to the residents around it in Somerset?

  • How do the staff, machinery and supplies get to site?
  • And how does this all happen in such a remote part of Somerset, whilst ensuring the minimal inconvenience and disruption to those around the site?

It’s a big challenge but one that has been meticulously worked out.

Of course, the people of west Somerset have seen nuclear power stations built before and this will be the third nuclear power station on the site.

Its ten-year construction will be a complicated operation involving thousands of people living and working together at the main development site.

It includes building temporary facilities to support the construction of the power station itself – things like campus accommodation for the workers, park and ride facilities to get them to site, and a jetty into the sea where construction materials will be delivered.

The Hinkley Point C site will be the workplace of both the large team of skilled people building it and the heavy machinery, vehicles, components and supplies that go towards constructing the power station.

We can look at the concrete needed for the site to put this in to perspective a little; in total, the new power station will require some 3 million tonnes – about 75 times more than was used to build the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Published 31st March 2017

The vast majority of this and the other materials needed will be brought onto site via a temporary jetty stretching out into the Bristol Channel. This has been chosen so that local roads won’t have to be used to bring the materials in using HGVs.
Milestones

Hinkley Point C in Somerset will be the first new nuclear power station built by a publicly listed company in the UK.

We take a look at some of the milestones so far!

In July 2011, the Government designated the first National Policy Statements for Energy Infrastructure, setting out the framework for faster, more predictable and accountable planning. The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of the National Policy Statement on Nuclear Power Generation.

In July 2012, the European Commission confirmed that the project meets the requirements of the Euratom Treaty for Nuclear Power Stations.

In June 2013, a vote in Parliament to rule out nuclear was defeated by 503 votes to 20, giving a majority of 483 MPs supporting nuclear.

In October 2013, EDF Group and the UK Government agreed on key commercial terms of an investment contract for Hinkley Point C.

In October 2014, the European Commission approved the agreements for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

Project by numbers

  • 25,000 new employment opportunities will be created over the construction period
  • 9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions will be avoided each year
  • Around 6,000 people will be employed onsite at its peak
  • £100 million per year will be put into the regional economy during peak construction
  • £40 million per year will go into regional economy reaching over £2 billion over the life time of the project
  • More than 1,000 new apprenticeships during construction
  • Over 20,000 trees will be planted at Hinkley Point C

Progress so far

Published 31st March 2017

What’s going on at the different sites around Hinkley?

The Cannington Bypass

Combwich Wharf

Cannington Park and Ride

Williton Park & Ride

Hinkley builders win £4-an-hour bonus as pay talks continue

(Via Construction Enquirer, June 2017) 

The deal will add millions to the labour bill for the job with around 6,000 workers expected on site during the peak of construction.

Strike threats have hit the site following a row over bonuses on the job.

But “constructive discussions” are now under way after client EDF stepped in between the unions and contractors.

All side have now agreed to take part in a collective differences panel that will seek to identify an agreeable long-term settlement of the bonus issue.

As part of the agreement, interim bonus payments will apply until the end of August 2017.

Working supervisors and craft grades will get an extra £4 an hour, skilled worker grades £3 per hour and general workers £2 an hour.

The interim payments were agreed by representatives of EDF Energy, BYLOR (the Tier 1 contractor comprising Laing O’Rourke and Bouygues TP), the Kier-Bam joint venture (who are undertaking the enabling works) and Unite the union.

As part of the agreement, the previously approved Civil Engineering Sector Agreement (CESA) for the project, which governs pay and conditions, will be fully implemented with effect from 1 June 2017, including the interim bonus arrangements.

The collective differences panel, which will consist of a senior Unite full time official and a senior EDF Energy executive, will thoroughly examine the matter of bonuses.

The panel will seek to identify appropriate permanent bonus arrangements that are agreeable to all parties and is scheduled to deliver its recommendations on productivity/milestones bonus payments by August.

As part of the agreement, no industrial action will be considered while these interim arrangements are in place or until the collective differences procedure has been exhausted.

Nigel Cann, EDF Energy’s Programme and Construction Delivery Director for Hinkley Point C, said: “We are proud about the ‘best in class’ nature of the overall package for the Hinkley Point C civil workforce.

“We have created great facilities, an opportunity to develop and a very competitive reward structure.

“We are pleased that these interim arrangements allow constructive dialogue to continue to finalise this important agreement.

“Unite the Union has been a constructive partner in the discussions to date and I look forward to this continuing throughout the construction of the Hinkley Point C power station.”

Unite acting national officer for construction Jerry Swain, said: “I am pleased that following consultation with our stewards and members that we along with the various parties have been able to agree a clear path forward and that the prospect of industrial action, which is always a last resort, can be taken off the agenda in order to allow the ‘Differences Panel’ to deliberate.

“The work undertaken by EDF Energy in ensuring that all parties signed up to the interim agreement has been crucial in providing a breathing space and creating the opportunity for a long-term solution being agreed to finally resolve this matter.”

One industrial relations expert said: “It seems the client has stepped in to get this sorted.

“But it’s a bit odd now the unions are talking directly to the client rather than the contractors.

“This could see the wage bill rise enormously.”