EDF and its Chinese partner CGN have chosen to use the new NEC4 Alliance Contract (ALC) to deliver an estimated £1 billion of mechanical, electrical, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning services (MEH) on the £20 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project in Somerset, UK.
EDF and CGN signed the ALC with alliance partners Altrad, Balfour Beatty Bailey, Cavendish Nuclear and Doosan Babcock in September last year. Richard Bowman of Cavendish Nuclear has been appointed interim alliance manager.
All alliance partners were already preferred tierone MEH contractors and, under the terms of the ALC, will now need to work together to deliver the complex installation of cabling, pipework and ducting in the power station’s 2500 rooms.
Balfour Beatty Bailey had previously said it was preferred contractor for a £460 million electrical infrastructure package, while Doosan Babcock was in line for a £220 million heating, ventilation and air-conditioning package, Cavendish Nuclear was up for the balance of nuclear island mechanical erection works and Altrad led the bidding for £20 million of fire protection of services.
Mutual trust and collaboration
Hinkley Point C commercial director Ken Owen said, ‘The foundation of our relationship with the construction industry has been one built of mutual trust, collaboration and fairness, with the NEC contract and its core principles being at the heart of the relationship.
‘With over 120 signed contracts to date, the transparency, rigour and discipline promoted by NEC ensures all parties collaborate, with the success of the project at the forefront of discussions. Our recent announcement to create the MEH alliance, based on the NEC4 Alliance Contract and in line with UK government and Institution of Civil Engineers Project 13 alliancing principles, signifies the latest stage of our journey to drive great collaboration between the project and its industrial supply chain.’
According to Owen, over 75% of the footprint of the new 3.2GW power station is being delivered by NEC contracts (Issue 81). ‘The main works contracts are generally being procured under the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract Option C (target contract with activity schedule) while the NEC3 Professional Services Contract and NEC3 Term Service Contract are being used for services.’ He says NEC is being used for all site construction, engineering, project management, associated developments and site services, including worker accommodation.
Integrated and coordinated delivery
The MEH alliance will work across the site to integrate and coordinate the delivery of all main MEH, cabling and associated support services on the project in line with the project’s priorities of safety, quality, time and cost. The work includes design and installation of around 3000km of electrical cables, 110km of piping systems and 10,000 items of mechanical plant.
According to interim alliance manager Bowman, ‘Combined, the MEH alliance partners operate over 13 nuclear licensed sites in the UK with 20,000 directly employed nuclear experts and over 65 years of experience. Uniting our expertise brings together a host of knowledge and experience in delivering safe nuclear design, construction, modification, maintenance and decommissioning.’
The first of the power station’s two reactors is due for completion at the end of 2025. When fully operational, the plant will supply 7% of the UK’s electricity.