Balfour Beatty completes onshore tunnelling work at Hinkley Point C nuclear project

WCN Editorial Team 7 Oct 2020 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

UK-based infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty has announced the completion of the onshore tunnelling work at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project in Somerset, UK.

Balfour Beatty along with EDF has completed the breakthrough of the longest and final onshore tunnel for the cooling system at the nuclear power station.

The milestone marks the completion of Balfour Beatty’s sprayed concrete lining works at the power station, which is claimed to be the UK’s first new nuclear power station in more than two decades.

Balfour Beatty has excavated 600m of ground to create the tunnels and has sprayed the ground with 9,000m3 of concrete to stabilise the recently formed underground structures.

The five onshore tunnels, which were built by the company, are said to play an important role in the nuclear power station’s critical cooling water system, said Balfour Beatty.

The tunnels will transfer more than 120,000 litres of water per second from the Bristol to Hinkley Point C Channel.

Now, the five tunnels will undergo the secondary lining works including installation of many reinforced rebar concrete structures to stabilise the sprayed concrete.

Balfour Beatty has also prepared three portals to launch the tunnel boring machines (TBM) that will excavate the tunnels for the main cooling water system.

The initial TBM has already begun its journey and has travelled more than 2.5km, 33m under the Bristol Channel in the island of Great Britain.

Upon completion, the 3,260MW Hinkley Point C facility will supply safe, secure, low carbon electricity to power approximately six million households.

Balfour Beatty Hinkley Point C’s tunnelling and marine project director Alistair Geddes said: “This is a significant step forward in the successful delivery of the first new nuclear power station in the UK for over 20 years.

“Achieving this incredible milestone is a testament to Balfour Beatty’s unrivalled expertise in delivering projects of this scale and complexity.”

The company has been awarded contracts for three major packages of works at Hinkley Point C project including the delivery of electrical works package in a joint venture in 2015, the tunnelling and marine package in 2017 and the 400kV overhead line project on behalf of National Grid last year.


Balfour Beatty breaks through at Hinkley Point C. (Credit: Balfour Beatty)  

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