Blog31 May 2023

Andrews Sykes: powering development at Hinkley Point C

When it comes to building and working on nuclear power stations like Hinkley Point C, strict regulations and precise requirements must be met at all times. The use of specialised concrete (known as ‘nuclear concrete’) is one of several heavily scrutinised processes undertaken on site, with protocols set by the Office for Nuclear Regulation expected to be strictly followed. Fluctuating UK temperatures pose a significant challenge for maintaining the required parameters for concrete production.

Having successfully collaborated with this high-profile customer on previous concrete batching projects, it would be fair to suggest we have established an excellent track record for providing tailored solutions to complex requirements.

With winter conditions threatening to cause disruption on previous production processes, our temporary boilers have traditionally been deployed. These units were connected to existing systems at Hinkley Point C, delivering an additional supply of heating to ensure desired temperatures could be achieved and upheld.

Conversely, summer heat has presented a completely different challenge, necessitating the use of supplementary cooling equipment to help instil the correct temperatures. The last time this issue surfaced, we responded by supplying some temporary chillers. By seamlessly integrating our chillers into the batching plant’s system, the concrete production remained within the required temperature range. These proactive approaches contributed significantly to meeting project milestones and avoiding delays – not to mention putting a major client’s mind at rest!

And it’s not just climate control assistance that has been historically required. Sykes’ innovative pumps have also been frequently requested for a multitude of purposes, including mothballing procedures, temporary fire systems, steam cooling, and even cleaning.

Recently, our submersible pumps were needed to enhance water flows around the main heat exchanger at Hinkley Point C. On this occasion, our units were connected to hosing that ran directly back to the main tank on site, accelerating the movement of water and delivering more efficient temperature regulation.

Over the years, we have demonstrated an unsurpassed ability to configure bespoke solutions to almost every conceivable application that you might expect to find in the power generation industry, with these tailored arrangements underpinned by the four key components of our company ethos: Flexibility, quality, expertise and innovation.

Our exemplary record among contractors at Hinkley Point C – and countless other sites across the country – serves as a compelling reference for the capabilities of the Andrews Sykes Group. With us by your side, project teams can confidently overcome a broad spectrum of temperature and water-related obstacles, with both types of issue often being tackled simultaneously at the same location.

We truly understand the implications of disruption within the power generation sector, which is why we believe that our tireless efforts to upholding standards and eliminating the potential for downtime can be regarded as a valuable contribution to the UK’s ongoing energy production endeavours.