EDF Energy has confirmed that it has selected the Bouygues/Laing O’Rourke joint venture as preferred bidder for its Hinkley Point C main civils work contract.
The award, as tipped by NCE last week, is worth around £2bn, and includes the construction of the main civils works for the nuclear island, the conventional island and supporting structures.
The work is subject to planning consent and EDF Energy taking its final investment decision at the end of this year.
Ahead of the signing of the contract, the joint venture has entered into a preliminary agreement for early contractor involvement which will see the two companies working on the development of the detailed design, construction methodology and programme up to EDF Energy’s final investment decision.
This early engagement is intended to cut costs and construction deliverability by drawing on the JV companies’ experience of similar projects. It will also ensure early identification of any issues, that the best processes and people are in place as early as possible, and early engagement can begin with the local community and supply chain.
The announcement today is a critical step in EDF Energy’s plans, with Centrica, to build the first new nuclear reactors in the UK for around 20 years, which will provide enough low carbon electricity to power five million homes.
The Bouygues/Laing O’Rourke JV beat off a rival bid from Vinci/Balfour Beatty. EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said the selection process was close.
“This was a close, very competitive tender which attracted some high quality and robustly-costed bids,” he said. “We look forward to harnessing the relevant and complementary experience, expertise and knowledge offered by this powerful partnership of two well-respected and highly-committed construction companies.
“So much has been achieved on site already and we now have a strong partner in Bouygues TP/Laing O’Rourke Joint Venture to help to plan the next phase of works. For us, early engagement with key contractors is critical to ensure that they are clear on their responsibilities and the expectations we have of them.”
“This year is a defining year for new nuclear,” he added. “We will continue our discussions with government about agreeing a legally robust investment framework. Agreeing the contract for difference is key. It means that we and government will have to be clear about our costs before we sign a contract for our project.It’s part of the open and transparent process taking us towards our final investment decision. The final investment decision will be based on cost evidence which will be robust.”
“We are also working towards obtaining crucial decisions on planning consent and design approval later this year. A huge amount remains to be done but we are determined to do it,” he said.