How has the construction of Hinkley Point C impacted the construction industry?
Construction at Hinkley Point C is part of a wider regeneration of the nuclear industry in the UK. Commenced in 2016, the development of the site is two years in and has already hit a number of significant milestones. For the construction industry, it has been a sound resource, both in terms of the jobs that it has provided and the innovation and technological design that it has advanced. There are a number of different ways in which the construction of Hinkley Point C has had a key impact on the construction industry.
The main developments
Hinkley Point C consists of a number of construction elements that includes two UK EPR nuclear reactors units and two turbine halls. In addition to this a sea wall has been integrated in order to protect the site against future rises in sea levels and the project has also required a range of fuel and waste management facilities. Also key to Hinkley Point C has been a cooling water infrastructure, which is essential to the process of electricity generation.
Other main developments in the process of construction have included accommodation and landscaping for the construction land. The site has necessitated the building of a wide range of ancillary elements, including park and ride sites and a temporary jetty facility to help with materials transport in an environmentally responsible way. These are just some of the elements of construction that Hinkley Point C has required, all of which have provided much needed jobs for the construction sector.
Providing roles for key talent
Given the wide range of construction elements involved in the Hinkley Point C project, a broad spectrum of construction talent has been required. The site has created jobs for a selection of different construction industry skill sets, including:
- Civil engineers
- Labourers and concretors
- Steel fixers and scaffolders
- Construction managers and supervisors
- Plant operatives
The project has also created around 1,000 apprenticeship opportunities, a quarter of which have already been filled since the project first began in 2016.
Hinkley Point C and construction, going forward
Construction at Hinkley Point C still has some time left to go. The process is due to run until 2023 and the plant will start supplying some six million homes from 2025. In that time it’s estimated that the project will employ around 6,000 staff, more than 3,000 of whom are already working on site. Jobs will continue to be generated nationally and also on a local scale. Around 64% of all the contracts that have been awarded in connection with the Hinkley Point C construction have been to UK companies, which has provided a significant boost to the UK construction sector during some fairly tough times.
Hinkley Point C has been quite a mammoth undertaking – for example, the 230,000 tonnes of steel that have been required for the project would be enough to build a rail track from Rome to London. There are still some years before it nears completion but the positive benefits for the construction sector are already being felt.
At RG Group we value innovation and development in construction – projects such as Hinkley Point C are incredibly valuable to the sector. See some of our work here.