Alstom has been selected as the preferred supplier of the turbines for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to be built in Somerset.
The first contract award comes 24 hours after EDF and the government reached in principle an agreement on the key commercial terms for the investment contract on the Hinkley Point project. Ministers have negotiated a price of £92.50 per megawatt hour for the electricity produced at the Somerset site - around double the current market rate. The so-called 'strike price' could fall by £3 if another mooted development at Sizewell goes ahead, allowing for efficiencies in development and testing.
Subject to the signing of a final contract, Alstom will supply two 1,750 MW conventional islands for Hinkley Point C, based on its Arabelle steam turbines, together with other non-nuclear construction work.
The Arabelle steam turbines are the same type that have been installed at Flamanville 3 in Normandy, where EDF has been building France's first EPR unit since December 2007. The reactor at Flamanville was originally planned to be commissioned this year, but is now expected to start up in 2016.
At least one third of the Alstom project will be UK content. Alstom’s UK teams will perform erection of the turbine generators, and undertake service throughout the lifetime of the project.
The Arabelle turbines will be delivered from Alstom’s Belfort site in France, whilst other equipment will be delivered from other advanced facilities and suppliers in the UK and in the rest of Europe.
Alstom said there would be a number of supply chain opportunities for UK companies once the final contract is signed, in particular in the areas of steelwork, pipework, lagging, electrical and controls. Companies that want to work with Alstom on Hinkley Point C have been asked to register their interest by sending an email to Ukcommunications.email@example.com.
Other key suppliers for Hinkley Point C have also been confirmed. Bouygues TP/Laing O’Rourke will carryout the civil work, while Costain will be responsible for marine-related activities. Areva will supply instrumentation and control equipment, and nuclear steam supply system and fuel components.
EDF has said that Hinkley Point C had the potential to create 25,000 job opportunities in the UK during its construction, including 400 apprentices. It will create 900 jobs when operational. Hinkley Point C in numbers
- It is a proposed 3.2 GW nuclear power plant with two EPR reactors (each of 1.6GW) capable of producing 7% of the UK’s electricity.
- The new power station is designed to operate for at least 60 years.
- EPR reactors are an evolution of the pressurised water reactor technology – as used at Sizewell B and in 58 nuclear reactors owned by EDF in France. They have enhanced safety features with quadruple safety systems. They are more efficient and produce less long-lived radioactive waste compared with existing water reactors. They also use less uranium than current generation reactors.
- The Hinkley Point C construction site covers 175 hectares.
- Main earthworks will require the excavation of 4m cubic metres of earth.
- It will use 3m tonnes of concrete.
- It will use 230,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement.
- Studies show that 57% of construction value could be supplied in the UK.