IT'S five years since the go-ahead was given for work on a new Hinkley Point C power station.

Final contracts for the project were signed on September 29, 2016.

Since then the statistics are simply stunning.

To date, the number of people across Britain working on the Hinkley Point C power station has reached 22,000.

The growing number includes 6,300 on site, compared to just 1,500 at the height of the pandemic last year.

A total of 3,600 British companies have won contracts on the project, including more than 400 businesses in the North of England, where spending so far has already topped £1.2billion. Those firms include many large and small companies such as Blackburn-based Assystem , Darchem on Teesside or Kaefer in Jarrow.

By the end of the project, £18billion will have been spent with British businesses.

The nuclear power station will be essential in helping Britain achieve net zero emissions by providing reliable low carbon electricity to meet seven per cent of the country’s needs, working alongside wind and solar generation in place of fossil fuels like coal and gas.

New pictures and video released this week show the latest progress on what is Europe's largest construction site:

  • The next prefabricated 17-metre high section of the first reactor building is complete and ready to be lifted into place by the world's biggest crane, Big Carl;
  • Work to build the 16-metre high floor for the first turbine and generator is under way, ready for the world’s most powerful 'Arabelle' turbine, which arrives later this year. Each turbine can produce more than three per cent of the nation’s electricity, enough for more than three million homes;
  • 3.5 miles of cooling tunnels have been completed and six 5,000 tonne water intake heads are ready for installation;
  • Work to install the 230 miles of pipes and 5,500 miles of cables is underway;
  • Training for the first cohort of power station operators has begun;
  • The country’s first 'T-pylons' have been installed for the station’s 35-mile grid connection.

Around 22,000 people in Britain are now working on the project, with suppliers and contractors in every part of the country.

During construction, 74,000 people in Britain are due to work on the project.

Numbers on site are due to increase to around 8,500 in the next 18 months.

A total of 800 apprentices have been trained so far.

Hinkley Point C has worked with trades unions and colleges to fill skills shortages and bring new people into the construction and nuclear industries, with new training centres for welders, electricians, construction workers and nuclear specialists.

Hinkley Point C and its suppliers are using factory construction and innovation to increase quality and productivity, with big gains between the first unit and unit two. They are ready to replicate these benefits with the near identical design for Sizewell C in Suffolk.

Managing director Stuart Crooks said: “Hinkley Point C is essential in the fight against climate change and for Britain’s energy security.

"It is delivering on its promise of boosting British jobs, skills and industry right across the country.

“Covid-19 has challenged the project and its suppliers and I am proud of the enormous efforts made to keep the site safe and moving ahead.

"As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we can now create more jobs as we step up construction and manufacturing for the next phase of the project.”

Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: "Hinkley Point is the most significant construction project in a generation, as it is fundamental to the UK's future energy policy.

"It is essential that the lessons learnt and the skills developed at Hinkley are not allowed to be lost in the sands of time.

"To avoid this, the government must urgently make a decision to support the development of Sizewell C, so workers with their skills and experience can bridge across to this project, which is also essential to meet the UK's future energy needs."

Charlotte Childs, GMB national officer for construction and engineering, said: ''GMB are proud to have been involved in HPC from the start, lobbying the government at the time to ensure that HPC became a reality.

"We have worked with EDF to make HPC not only a project delivered by highly skilled, unionised workers but to ensure a legacy of jobs and training that creates the next generation of engineering and construction workers.

"The UK energy market needs new nuclear projects to ensure supply stability through to and beyond its net zero targets.

"GMB are unapologetic advocates for new nuclear projects like Hinkley Point C and the upcoming Sizewell C.

"A just transition needs to have nuclear in the mix and these projects benefit our UK workforce and the communities they are built beside.''


Assystem- North West Blackburn based Assystem is providing engineering support to the Hinkley Point C project, one of 270 companies in the North West. Employing 90 people directly on Hinkley Point C and a further 100 across the UK’s nuclear fleet, Assystem is promoting diversity with a goal of recruiting 100 women into the Hinkley Point C project over five years.

Darchem – North-East Based in Stillington near Stockton-on Tees, 400 people are working on Hinkley Point C contracts, building specialised tanks, stainless steel liners and other precision equipment.

Kaefer- North-East Jarrow based Kaefer is delivering specialist steel ductwork sections for the reactor buildings at Hinkley Point C and is one of 59 companies based in the North East. The ductwork will be fabricated at Kaefer’s Jarrow manufacturing facility on the Tyne with 40 people currently working directly on the Hinkley Point C project.

Bilfinger UK - Yorkshire and Humberside Bilfinger UK is one of more than 180 Hinkley Point C suppliers based in Yorkshire and Humberside. In a multi-million-pound contract the business will be leading the fabrication and installation works for the nuclear steam supply system. As part of the work, the company plans to create 350 new UK jobs whilst also refurbishing facilities on Humberside to manufacture 56km of specialised pipework.

Mike Morgan Electrical Services- South-West Mike Morgan Electrical Services are one of over 1,300 businesses based in the South West of England. The Bridgwater-based business works as part of a local joint venture which holds a multi-million-pound contract. As a result of Hinkley Point C, the company has increased its workforce by 70% and now employees 70 people. The company is training 14 apprentices.

William Hare - South Wales William Hare is a specialist steel fabrication company with Hinkley Point C contracts totalling more than £135m. Employing around 700 people in Britain with facilities located in the North-West of England and South Wales, recent expansion has led to the creation of 75 additional jobs, including nine apprentices in Risca near Newport.