Mammoet ramps up HPC marine works [– with video]

Each intake head will be connected to five miles of tunnels used to circulate cooling-water for the new power station.

The first heads have been loaded onto barges at Bristol Port’s Avonmouth docks, ready to be towed out to meet two floating heavy lift cranes Gulliver and Rambiz, which will work in tandem to lower the structures into place. Each platform is the size of a football pitch and the cranes have a combined lifting capacity of 7,300 tonnes.

The four intake and two outfall heads have been built by Balfour Beatty in Avonmouth. Each loading out operation, carried out by heavylift specialist Mammoet, takes several hours, with the water levels being adjusted at the dock to ensure the barge can receive the load safely and securely.

Ian Beaumont, project director for marine civils at Hinkley Point C, said: “This starts a summer of complex offshore operations, with teams working in collaboration to deliver an incredible feat of engineering. It demonstrates the continued progress being made at Hinkley Point C.”

Balfour Beatty project director Roger Frost, Project Director added: “We are now readying ourselves to successfully complete our next feat of engineering: lowering the head structures, which will support the nuclear power station’s critical water-cooling system, to the very bottom of the Bristol Channel.”

The structures will cap the tunnels that will supply Hinkley Point C’s two nuclear reactors with cooling water. Their size means water will enter the intakes slowly, reducing the number of fish entering the cooling pipes. They are also placed sideways to the tidal flow.  In addition, screens and a fish return system will transfer fish back to sea.

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