Balfour Beatty has a £200m contract to construct 9.5km of tunnels for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. The seven-metre diameter tunnels – some offshore, some under land – are for the power station’s cooling system.
Balfour Beatty has erected a Favelle Favco M2480D tower crane to support this contract. The crane has been supplied by Marr Contractors in Australia, which worked with Favco on its design and development 10 years ago.
While there are larger tower cranes in the world – the Krøll K-10000, designed and built for the Soviet nuclear programme, remains the largest – the M2480D is the world’s largest luffing tower crane. And it doesn’t just have a luffing jib; it has a luffing fly jib too. It can lift a maximum of 330 tonnes at 14.5 metres radius and 55 tonnes out to 63.4 metres.
Meanwhile, launch frames for the first tunnel boring machines go down the shaft today.
Also on its way to Hinkley Point this year is the mighty Sarens SGC-250, a 5,000-tonne capacity ring-mounted crane. It can lift 2,000 tonnes at 100 metres radius. It will be working for the Bylor joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics and Laing O'Rourke Construction that has the £2bn main works package.