100,000 trucks across the seas
Talking about nuclear power doesn’t only make you popular these days. The building of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in the county of Somerset began this year. The transport of materials through the port of Bristol will now become more environment-friendly.
The port of Bristol is central to the supply chain for the delivery of building materials to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, which requires large quantities of building materials. A giant new crane called ‘Big Karl’, 250 m high and with a lifting capacity of 5,000 t, already took up its work there recently (see page 22 of ITJ 21-21 / 2019). Now the hub’s infrastructure is getting a further boost from the French power company EDF, with a new delivery system being set up to handle the necessary construction materials.
New landing stage
EDF, the energy provider behind the multi-million pound project, recently announced the opening of a new landing stage in the port of Bristol. It has been built especially to serve the Hinkley Point building site and will provide significant benefits in the modal split for the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. EDF has estimated that the move will result in approximately 100,000 less trucks operating on Somerset’s roads over the life of the project.
Most of the building material required to produce the concrete for the power plant will be transported directly by rail to the port of Bristol’s Avonmouth Docks, from where it will be transported to the new jetty. The managers have estimated that a single delivery of 6,000 t of minerals there will keep around 300 truckloads off the roads around the construction site. They expect the pier to handle total volumes equivalent to 100,000 truckloads over its service life.
The port of Bristol’s commercial manager, Miles Adams, underlined the fact that “maritime transport is an efficient and clean way to transport heavy materials; it additionally cuts out millions of kilometres of road haulage annually.
The last 52 kilometres
Experience is key. Since mid-2018, cooperation with Hanson UK has paved the way for these latest developments. That company’s building materials from the Whatley quarry near Frome, also in Somerset, have already been transported to Avonmouth Docks by train. The port of Bristol has invested in new equipment there, to increase overall handling speeds.
The last 52 km to the site will now be bridged by sea by the vessel Aastun. Oversized consignments will be delivered by sea to Combwich quay, on the river Parrett. The largest crane in the world, the Sarens ‘Big Karl’ SGC-250, also arrived there in May this year.