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Hydrock to begin ground investigations for new nuclear

E.ON has appointed Hydrock to begin site investigations for the proposed new nuclear site at Oldbury in Gloucestershire.

Beginning on 3 August, some 22 boreholes will be drilled to a depth of between 40m and 80m in addition to down-hole geophysics and geotechnical testing.

Hydrock Director Dr Adam Fisher, said:  “Hydrock has been working in the new nuclear build programme for the last 18 months and it forms a major part of our growth strategy. 

“This is a complex and critical piece of work in preparation for the construction of the new facility and we are pleased that E.ON has selected Hydrock to carry out the work,” he said.

The company is also set to start work on what will be the largest onshore gas storage facility in the UK, for Portland Gas plc.

Hydrock has been appointed to deliver a turnkey contract to design and construct the well drilling platform on which part of the £500M facility will be constructed. The first phase of the contract will involve the installation of the deep drainage. 

Subsequent works will include the design and construction of 14 reinforced concrete well chambers, a 200m long  reinforced earth structure, pipe culverts and slope stabilisation structures. The works involve a large earthworks element including the excavation of approximately 46,000m3 of soil and rock and the placement of approximately 30,000m3 of recycled aggregates.

The project will enable the storage of natural gas in large caverns formed underground in a thick salt sequence and will involve the construction of associated surface facilities at the site of the former HMS Osprey Naval Base on Portland. The gas storage site will be connected to the National Grid by underground pipelines across Weymouth Bay.

Hydrock’s Managing Director, Dr Brian McConnell has been working closely with Portland during the planning and design stages and is delighted that work can now begin.  “We recognise the importance of the Portland Project to securing energy supplies and we are looking forward to a continuing and increasing involvement in the project where we can continue to add value.”

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