Balfour Beatty to take Hinkley Point C Tunnels contract

Balfour Beatty has been appointed by EDF Energy as preferred bidder for the UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power station tunnelling and marine works package. The four year package will include the construction of three marine tunnels totalling over 9.5km in length and 7m in diameter to form part of the vital cooling system required for the UK’s landmark nuclear power station.

The move will come as a blow to contractor Costain, who was appointed the original preferred bidder in late 2013. Tunnelling Journal contacted EDF Energy over a month ago when we discovered that Balfour Beatty were set to take over the position.

At that time an EDF Energy spokesperson told TJ, “The Hinkley Point C project team is finalising the contract to construct the cooling water intake and structures for the station.  A competitive process is underway between two British companies for this Final Contract and we anticipate completing this process in the coming weeks. Signing the Final Contract will conclude the competitive process for this work.”

Achieving preferred bidder status makes this the second major package Balfour Beatty will deliver at Hinkley Point C, following its appointment to the power station’s £460M electrical works package in joint venture with NG Bailey in 2015 which is currently on site.

Stephen Tarr, Managing Director Balfour Beatty’s Major Projects business, said: “With our nuclear heritage dating back to the 1950s, reaching preferred bidder status on our second major package of works at Hinkley Point C is testament to both our expert engineering skills and our in-depth market knowledge.

“Hinkley Point C is a project which inspires collaboration by its very nature due to its significant scale and complexity. Our expert engineers will deploy heavy civil engineering skills and extensive knowledge of tunnelling.”

On completion, Hinkley Point C will be the first of a new generation of nuclear power stations and the first to be built in the UK for more than 20 years.

Over the lifetime of the construction project over 700 job opportunities will be created including up to 15 apprenticeships.

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