Studwelders Composite Floor Decks were selected to supply and install over 4000 square metres of MetFloor 60 steel decking to the first ancilliary buildings at Hinkley Point C.
The decking, as well as shear studs were installed in the first permanent onsite buildings, the Simulator Training Centre and the HHA Warehouse in early 2019.
Bouygues UK were awarded the £35M contract to develop, design and build the first phase of ancilliary buildings in the gargantuan Hinkley Point C nuclear power station development in Somerset in June 2018. The steelwork was subcontracted to William Haley, a Somerset-based firm, which in turn subcontracted the steel decking work to CFD Group, with CMF responsible for manufacturing the 4000 square metres of long-span trapezoidal steel decking, and Studwelders Composite Floor Decks Ltd selected to install the steel decking, shear studs and safety netting to the 2 buildings, the very first permanent structures to be topped-out in EDF Energy’s £19.6B project. Construction of the 2 buildings began in late 2018, and is expected to be complete by late 2020. Bouygues had already been awarded the contracts to construct the buildings that will house the 2 EPR nuclear reactors, and to design and build Hinkley Point C’s backup plant.
The Simulator Training Centre will provide a facility for EDF Energy to train nuclear operatives to control and maintain the European Pressured Reactors, as well as housing the Control Room Training Simulator and required support IT equipment. The HHA Warehouse building will be used for the storage, preparation and assembly of primary circuit components during the construction phase of the two EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C, whilst also providing a working environment for the operatives involved. After this period of heavy usage, the building will be used as a warehouse and workshop facility throughout the life of the power station. These sit alongside the continued sub-structure work for nuclear Reactor 1, the galleries, pumping stations and sea wall defences being carried out in 2018/9.
When completed, the main power station development will include: two EPR nuclear (pressurised water) reactor units, two turbine halls, cooling water infrastructure, fuel and waste management facilities including storage, electricity transmission infrastructure, service and ancillary buildings, a sea wall, a public information centre and landscaping for the construction land. EPR nuclear reactors are Generation III nuclear reactors, the first of their kind in the UK, and Hinkley Point C is the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK in 20 years, in an infrastructure project larger than Crossrail. When complete, it will produce 3.2GW of electricity. The Hinkley Point C project also includes developments in the surrounding area, including accommodation campuses for the workforce; four park and ride facilities to transport workers by bus; a temporary jetty and refurbished wharf to deliver as much heavy equipment and material as possible by sea; a bypass to the west of a nearby village and a series of highway improvement schemes across the local road network.
Bouygues UK’s Rob Bradley said: “Hinkley Point C is one of the largest construction projects in Europe. It is a highly complex and technologically advanced engineering project which, when completed, is expected to supply 7% of the UK’s electricity consumption and provide power for more than five million homes… The Simulator Training Centre and HHA Warehouse will be the first permanent buildings constructed on the site, and will be vital for both the construction and operational success of HPC. We are looking forward to working with Bouygues Construction and our other partners to deliver this extraordinary project.”
During the project over 80 per cent of the labour used on site will be sourced from within the region, which includes the county of Gwent, where both Studwelders and CMF are based. Local keen SMEs, such as the CFD Group, were actively sought out to work as partners in this exciting project. Manufacture of over 4000 square metres of modern, long-span trapezoidal MetFloor 60 steel decking took place during the early months of 2019 in CMF’s state-of-the-art facility in Mamhilad, near Pontypool. CMF were also responsible for the manufacture of CSC composite shear connectors and steel edge trim. The materials were delivered to site between February and May 2019, whereupon Studwelders installation teams could get to work. The skilled decking and studwelding teams installed the decking to the buildings’ steel framework and then securely fastened it using CSC composite shear connectors, newly developed by CFD Group. Across both buildings, FASET-compliant safety netting was installed to ensure UKMDA-approved best practice for personnel safety whilst installing the metal decking. Work was completed in 2019 Q2, and the 2 buildings are scheduled for completion in late 2020. The HHA warehouse will thereupon be used to help facilitate the construction of the reactor circuit components, before both buildings become fully operational in 2025.
This first phase of ancilliary buildings represents only a £35M sliver of the gargantuan £19.6B project, and there are dozens of other sub-projects onsite that Studwelders, as a local SME, would relish the chance to be involved with, to assist in the construction of further infrastructure in Hinkley Point C, which is providing a unique opportunity for construction and manufacturing SMEs in South East Wales and the South West to develop and grow.