Nuclear boom starts with £100m civils job at Hinkley

Grant Prior 14 years ago

The race to land one of the biggest earthworks contracts in recent years is down to three with the winner due to find out next month who has picked up the £100m job.

It will be the first significant construction contract at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station being planned by French utility giant EDF Energy with the prize contract being a £1.2bn main civils deal.

The earthworks contract will involve moving 4.5 million cu m of rock and earth to make way for the new power station in Somerset.

A heavyweight pairing of Balfour Beatty and Vinci is up against Costain/Sir Robert McAlpine and Kier/Bam Nuttall for the clearance job.

Two other teams – Laing O’Rourke/Bouygues and Carillion/Eiffage – both failed to make the latest cut for the earthworks package which will start on site in January and last for two years.

The Kier/Bam Nuttall team has already won the first construction contract at the site having signed a £4m site preparation deal with EDF last month.

Costain/Sir Robert McAlpine is also one of five bidding for a £250m tunnelling contract at the site with a winner due to be announced early next year.

The Kier/Bam Nuttall team is also pitching and has added Bam-owned German tunnelling specialist Wayss & Freytag to beef up its bid. The others on the list are Morgan Sindall, Hochtief and Murphy.

This work will involve building a pair of 3 km long intake tunnels along with a 2 km long outfall tunnel plus a series of sea shafts.

EDF is letting the main civils package through a two stage tender with a clutch of teams due to find out this November who has made it through to the final round of bidding.

A winner is due to be chosen next Easter with work starting the following year for a finish in 2016. EDF wants the station, known as Hinkley C, up and running by 2017.

The five teams bidding the main civils package are: Balfour Beatty/Vinci; Laing O’Rourke/Bouygues; Carillion/Eiffage; Costain/Sir Robert McAlpine and Kier/Bam Nuttall/Skanska/URS.

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