Hinkley Point C power station : EDF Energy selects COMECA as preferred supplier

Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

EDF Energy has selected COMECA to supply hundreds of electrical switchboards for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the United Kingdom. This award marks a new chapter in the longstanding partnership between EDF and COMECA, worldwide leader in electrical distribution systems.

 

A nuclear project worth £ 18 billion

The British government signed the contracts for the “Hinkley Point C” (HPC) project with EDF Energy and its investment partner China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) at the end of September 2016.

Hinkley Point C involves the construction of two 1650 MW EPR-type reactors. The total investment could be £18bn and should start first power generation in 2025.

 

An emblematic order for COMECA

COMECA will once again show its ability to manage cross-border projects among the most complex in the world.

For the Group, this requires developing a new generation switchboards range, more compact, more powerful and more economical : the GALAXIS Nuclear.

Switchboards delivered will meet British standards and will feed the entire Hinkley Point C (HPC) plant. Besides, they will be subjected to severe tests, such as their capacity to operate during and after the unlikely event of an earthquake as well as in case of breakdown of the HVAC system.

« With our GALAXIS equipment it is possible to control, maintain, transform and modify switchboards without any power outage, which is not possible during the intervention on a standard switchboard. They must also be equipped for redundant use, that is, operate even during failure or damage of one of its component elements” adds Jean-Marc Heitz, Manager of the SDA (Distribution & Automation Solutions) division at COMECA.

 

A project entirely managed in the UK, hundreds of switchboards manufactured in France

The HPC project will have a long-lasting impact on the industry, creating thousands of high quality jobs both in the UK and France.

While providing a significant boost for industry in Britain and France, COMECA will also strengthen its presence in the UK, a market with a huge potential for growth, through its subsidiary COMECA UK based in Stoke-On-Trent.

At the end of 2016, COMECA UK was awarded the first engineering orders and dedicated a project team composed of several dozens of Engineers. The team will ensure coordination of the whole project, from design to manufacture to final completion.

The next step will consist in testing switchboards in their maximum working conditions. They will be designed to operate at a temperature in excess of 50 degrees Celsius and subjected to short-circuits of over 100 kA, the switchboards will also be capable of operating in seismic conditions, tests will be carried out on giant vibrating tables to simulate earthquake conditions.

Following on COMECA will have to manufacture and deliver hundreds of electrical switchboards and associated transformers from 2018 to 2023. Once produced, COMECA UK will install, commission equipment and manage it on site.

By actively participating in such a project, COMECA asserts its unique position in the nuclear sector as well as its capability to provide solutions adapted to specific requirements critical to the operation of equipment that will be used in harsh environments.

““We are proud and pleased to be selected by EDF Energy as its partner for this challenging project. With our 40 years’ experience serving the worldwide nuclear industry, COMECA is ready and dedicated to the successful construction of Hinkley Point C” concludes Gaël de la Rochère, CEO of COMECA.