Heavy lift vessels Gulliver and Rambiz have placed a 5,000-tonne intake head on the seabed of the Bristol Channel for the EDF’s Hinkley Point C project in the UK.

Rambiz and Gulliver at Hinkley Point C

The structure is the second of four intake heads being connected to tunnels that will supply the nuclear power station with cooling water. The two outfall heads have already been lowered into position, with the two heavy lift vessels working in tandem.

Each intake head measures 44 m long and 8 m high. They have been built by Balfour Beatty in Avonmouth, in Bristol, and are being transported to Hinkley Point C on barges. The lifting at sea, carried out by the marine construction specialists, NewWaves Solutions, takes several days, due to each step taking place within six-hour tidal windows.

The work to install the system is regarded as one of the world’s most complex marine engineering projects, according to EDF, as the Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal range on the planet.

Gulliver made its way to the UK for the work after installing two pipe racks and six topside modules onto the hull of Equinor’s Johan Castberg FPSO at the Aker Solutions yard in Stord, as HLPFI reported here.

You can watch Gulliver and Rambiz in action here