Construction work at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset is well underway, with the world’s biggest crane having been shipped to the site.
Dubbed ‘Big Carl’, it is 250 metres tall and can reach higher than the tallest tower at London’s Canary Wharf and at 50 metres radius, it can carry 5,000 tonnes in a single lift – equivalent to 32 single-storey houses or 1,600 cars.
The new Sarens SGC-250 crane – shipped from Ghent in Belgium on more than 250 lorries and developed to support the growing trend towards modularisation in big construction – will be used to lift large pre-fabricated sections of the power plant into place.
EDF Energy says the huge size and capacity of the crane allows large components to be built in covered factory conditions on site, improving quality and saving time.
Rob Jordan, Hinkley Point C Construction Director said: “The crane is an impressive piece of kit and a world beater. It allows us to innovate in the way we build the power station, lifting complete pieces out of our factory bunkers and into place across the site.
“Pre-fabrication helps us boost quality, gives better conditions for skilled workers and saves time – that’s good news for the project and an example of learning lessons from success at other projects.”