After visiting the HPC site with Laura Rigby our Office Administrator, our new Membership Manager Ritchie Cridge wrote a few words about the visit:
Everyone across the South West is familiar with Hinkley Point C (HPC), but have you actually seen it? The scale of the project and equipment involved is immense – jaw dropping up close. When first approaching the site, it is likely you will see the standing blue towers of the infamous Hinkley Point A (and possibly the giant grey block of concrete, Hinkley Point B, if you can pull your eyes away from the giant blue structures).
At the entrance, you’ll see two rows of temporary accommodation blocks (brown in colour) which have been built to house approximately 500 workers. As you drive further in you will see mammoth concrete tunnel segments waiting to be placed. When pulling up to the official gated entrance there is a large office block to the right (the canteen can seat up to 700 people) and machinery to the left.
Once on site, there are two separate roads – one for regular vehicles (buses & smaller plant equipment) and the other for, what I refer to, as the mega-vehicles. Whilst navigating the muddy roads you will notice that health and safety standards are held to the highest degree. Colossal yellow dumper trucks pass by with a capacity of 100 tonnes. Trenches which make humans look like peas in an oversized bowl sit near several towering cranes (eventually there will be approximately 50 cranes on site). A concreate batching facility sits near the shore front which can pour for 40-50 hours straight. The temporary sea jetty is coming together just in front of the concrete batching facility – soaring poles stick out of the sea. Enough steel to stretch from London to Rome will require circa 700 steel fixers/erectors. Materials which appear to have no end are stacked across the site.
Putting politics and the economy to the side – it was impressive to experience what we can build (or at least what we can prepare to build). The volume and general size of everything left me walking away wondering what the next mega-project might look like.
It’s my belief that a lot can be learned from this project (regardless of your view) and as the Somerset Chamber of Commerce it is our job to help maximise the opportunity for local business. First impressions were great and I look forward to watching HPC come out of the ground over the next few years.