At 4.30am on Wednesday 18th December 2019, on one of the coldest nights of the year, the 250-metre tall SGC-250 crane lifted a 170-tonne prefabricated part of the reactor’s steel containment liner into place.
The lift had been planned to take advantage of a small weather window and it marks the end of a year where all the milestones for the new nuclear power station were met, client EDF Energy said.
The ring-mounted crane was specially designed and built by Belgian heavylift specialist Sarens for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project in Somerest. Named after the company’s director of technical solutions, Carl Sarens, Big Carl is working for Bylor, the Bouygues/Laing O’Rourke joint venture that has the £2.8bn main contract for the two reactor buildings and main civil engineering works.
Hinkley Point C managing director Stuart Crooks said: “The first big lift is another impressive achievement and I want to thank the teams who’ve worked so hard to make this possible. The experience from civil and nuclear construction and operation across the world at Hinkley Point C is first class and I am pleased to say that we have ended 2019 with all milestones achieved.
“We know that Hinkley Point C’s success is essential in the fight against climate change – in a future when renewables and nuclear will be needed to fill an energy gap as we move away from polluting fossil fuels.”