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vendredi 27 janvier 2017

At Hinkley Point EPR site, Father Christmas has brought a fabulous gift to civil works operator Bouygues: some €1,7 billion.

Hinkley Point EPR site will award to Bouygues, the French civil works operator, some €1,7 billion.

source: EDF


EPR construction represents a kind of gigantic scale. Beside being France’s nuclear nec plus ultra, the site intends to become EDF’s window in the field of nuclear power stations.

Now, the proportion of Bouygues’ share in this agreement concluded in 2014 has been identified surely to amount to €1,7 billion. In fact, Bouygues is a partner of the British Laing O’Rourke in the Bylor consortium. The joint-venture won the tender in 2014.

Therefore, Bouygues’ order book has got a fabulous gift from Father Christmas: around €1,7 billion for the construction of the buildings containing both EPR. The joint-venture, composed of Laing O’Rourke and Bouygues, were awarded the construction for Hinkley Point C in last October 2014. But this amount couldn’t  enter Bouygues’ financial statements as it was not really effective, as the joint-venture has to calculate which part was to be allocated to the French partner.
At the beginning, , the part of civil works of the nuclear power station was around £2 billion (namely €2,3 billion) but the figure changed since then.
In a press release, Bouygues has reminded that « Hinkley Point C power station will produce some 2,3 gigawatt. Moreover, it will deliver power to more than 5 million households, accounting for 7% of the total power consumption of the United Kingdom ». The project shall manage some 3,500 workers at the summit of activity.

A third contract for an EPR power station

Hinkley Point C shall be commissioned in 2025. This agreement is the third of the kind to be awarded to Martin Bouygues’ company for nuclear power stations using the new EPR technology (European pressurized reactors). Bouygues has been already chosen by Areva to build the Finnish Olkiluoto station in 2005, then by EDF for the French Flamanville station in 2006. Before, the company was involved in second-generation power stations construction in France, such as Bugey, Saint-Alban and Chooz.
But Olkiluoto as Flamanville have recorded delays and impressive overcosts. Both sites seem to concentrate incidents.

For instance, in Olkiluoto, even if civil works are not involved in the present disputes, the site has recorded a nine-years’ time delay and overall invoice has increased from €3,5 billion to €8 billion. The dispute between Areva and TVO, its Finnish client, is still waiting for decision in the hand of the International Arbitration Court, which may issue a decision this year… or in 2018. TVO claims for €2,6 billion of penalties, whereas Areva claims for €3,4 billion of damages.

Some budget deficits were seen also on Flamanville site and the total amount of invoice has more than tripled to reach some €10,5 billion. Suffering from various faulty procedures, a new one has emerged recently: the problem of carbon concentration in the tank and the lid of the reactor tank, built in Areva’s Le Creusot site. The Authority for Nuclear Safety ( the French nuclear watchdog) has required several sets of tests. This institution shall take a final decision at the end of first semester.

Gigantism of the figures, of the number of people involved, of ambitions.

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