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Big Carl makes huge lift at Hinkley Point C

by Sion Geschwindt
Big Carl makes huge lift at Hinkley Point C

In the early hours of Monday morning (12 December), the world’s largest crane ‘Big Carl’ lifted a 304-tonne steel liner ring onto the site’s first reactor building.

It is the third and final ring to be installed on the building, which will eventually contain one of Hinkley Point C’s two nuclear reactors. The unit has now grown in height by 11.6-metres and stands at 44-metres.

The liner ring, which was prefabricated in a factory on site, also features supporting brackets for the Polar Crane Beam. This internal crane will rotate 360° above the reactor and be used for refuelling. 

The reactor building now only has the ‘lid’ to be placed on top, with the iconic dome lift scheduled for next year.

Big Carl’s latest lift highlights the progress being made at Hinkley Point C, says EDF, where teams are working 24/7 to make the plant operational as soon as possible.

According to the French energy company, the power station will supply 6 million homes with clean energy and is crucial in helping the UK avoid another energy crisis.

Big Carl is a platform-mounted lattice-boom crane – model name SGC-250 – that is designed, built, owned and operated by Belgian heavylift specialist Sarens. It can lift up to 5,000 tonnes at a radius of 40 metres, and lays claim to the title of the world’s strongest land-based crane.

Read next: Hinkley Point C work halts following supervisor death

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