Osprey Group delivers 257-tonne rotor for EDF’s Hinkley Point C
Hinkley Point C in Somerset being developed by EDF is UK’s first nuclear power station for over 20 years. The project recently required a 257-tonne low pressure rotor to be delivered to the site.
The company contracted Osprey Group to handle and transport all critical, out of gauge items destined for the site. The new low-pressure rotor forms a critical part of the electrical power production equipment in the turbine hall. It measures 20-metres long, weighs in at a hefty 257 tonnes and houses the largest ‘last-stage’ blades ever made at 1.9 metres.
As the heaviest Abnormal Indivisible Load (AIL) being delivered into the UK for HPC so far, the project-planning for the rotor’s transport started over a year ago. The schedule saw the rotor’s journey start in Belfort, France, where it had been manufactured and tested by the GE team. From there, it was moved by a heavy-lift truck to Neuf-Brisach in the Alsace region of France, and then loaded onto a barge and transported down the Rhine to Rotterdam where it was stored at GE’s consolidation warehouse.
A coaster vessel already familiar to the project, MV Aasfjord, was selected by Osprey to transport the LP Rotor from Rotterdam to the UK. To maximise the efficiency of the shipment and use all available under hold deck space, additional items (three condenser units) were also loaded onto the vessel, which were then put to sea for the two-day journey to Avonmouth.
On arrival at Avonmouth HPC Terminal, Osprey used their LG1550 SLDB crane to lift all components from MV Aasfjord onto an awaiting 4 file 14 Self Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT). Once offloaded, all the components were then delivered into the bespoke storage facility – the off-loading and transportation itself took just under 10 hours, highlighting the precision with which the assets were moved.