EDF's proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, UK

EDF’s proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, UK

A contract has been awarded to French-based Bouygues Travaux Publics, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, in a consortium with UK company Laing O’Rourke, for the construction of the buildings that will house the two EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C in the UK.

Bouygues Construction’s share of this contract from energy company EDF Energy will amount to at least €1.7 billion, said the company.

The controversial nuclear power station project was given the go-ahead in September 2016, and the Bouygues Laing O’Rourke consortium signed the main construction works contact a year earlier.

Philippe Bonnave, chairman and CEO of Bouygues Construction, said, “We are proud to have been selected by EDF for this extraordinary project, a choice that reflects Bouygues Construction’s expertise in the field of nuclear civil engineering.

“We will be undertaking this project alongside Laing O’Rourke, our internationally-renowned British partner. We share the same values and give the same priority to employee safety and the importance of skilled workers.”

The project will involve some 3,500 site workers at peak periods. The Hinkley Point C plant will consist of twin EPR reactors with total capacity of 3.2GW. It is expected that it will supply 7% of the UK’s electricity consumption, providing power for more than 5 million homes.

Having built several of what it describes as second-generation nuclear plants in France –Bugey, Saint-Alban, Chooz – Bouygues Construction said it won the civil engineering contract for the EPR nuclear plant in Olkiluoto, Finland, in 2005, followed by that for the EPR plant in Flamanville , France, in 2006.

Bouygues said the Hinkley Point C project would benefit from the experience gained on these two projects, and that it would see a number of key innovations implemented, such as digital modelling.

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