Fuelling Hinkley Point C: Q&A

Hinkley Point C is one of Europe’s largest construction projects, will take ten years to complete with 5,600 workers expected on-site during the project’s peak. The nuclear power station will provide 6 million homes with low carbon energy and supply 7% of the nation’s electricity over its 60-year lifespan.

Certas Energy has recently opened a 24-hour refuelling hub at Hinkley Point C as part of a partnership to supply all on-site gas oil for the project. Here we speak with Andrew Barrie, Certas Energy’s Contracts Manager for Hinkley Point C, to find out more about the ‘fuel farm’ and what it takes to keep a construction project of this size and complexity moving.

How Is Certas Energy Working With Hinkley Point C?

Hinkley Point C has contracted Certas Energy to supply the site with five million litres of fuel a year until the project’s forecast completion. As part of the contract, we’ve built an on-site fuel farm – the first of its kind to be built on a nuclear power station – to keep construction moving with a reliable fuel supply.

Why Was Certas Energy Chosen As Hinkley Point C’s Fuel Partner?

Expertise. Certas Energy has supplied fuel, lubricants, AdBlue and more to some of the UK’s leading construction projects. At the same time, our experience in the transport and marine sectors means we have a proven track record of developing complex bunkering facilities.

As the refuelling hub was to be located on a nuclear site, there were strict regulations and planning processes to adhere to before construction could take place. Our specialist bunkering team rose to the challenge and proposed a refuelling hub that would put compliance, safety and efficiency first. Hinkley Point C were impressed with this expertise and the rest – as they say – is history.

That being said, capacity to assure fuel supply on a massive scale was also key. At Certas, we pride ourselves on our ability to reliably deliver bulk volumes thanks to our robust network of 900 tankers and 130 local depots. We have a varied supply base from a range of leading refineries, which means we’re able to guarantee security of supply whenever, wherever or however its required.

What Will The Fuel Farm Supply?

Our fuel farm will supply gas oil for off-road equipment, DERV for road vehicles and AdBlue to reduce emissions from diesel engines. The hub is made up of three 125k litre compartmentalised tanks that allow multiple users to refuel simultaneously.
Contractors will be able to fill up at the site at any time using fuel cards at the cashless payment terminals located by the tanks.

How Will Hinkley Point C Benefit From The Fuel Farm?

The fuel farm will make refuelling more efficient for contractors at the site. Tight legislation makes entering Hinkley Point C difficult. Vehicles are kept in holding pens and given staggered access to the site. This can lead to delays in refuelling that can, in a worst case scenario, cause construction to grind to a halt.

As the fuel farm is on site with 24/7 access, it helps to minimise any potential disruption and ensures quicker refuelling. Tankers operating from the farm also have an expert knowledge of the site’s layout, meaning fuel can be delivered without delay to help keep Hinkley Point C moving.

Construction businesses will also benefit from total visibility over their fuel consumption thanks to the site’s integration of Sapphire fuel management technology. Sapphire gives 24/7 access to fuel supply, complete oversight of a project’s fuel costs and real-time transaction data for more efficient resource management. As the system works with individually assigned fuel cards and fobs, businesses can see who is dispensing fuel – and how much – for maximum security and peace of mind.

Importantly, the fuel farm will also help to reduce the impact of refuelling on the local community. As vehicles will no longer need to travel to external refuelling sites or forecourts to fill up, the fuel farm will help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road – leading to less traffic and lower local emissions.

What Is The Best Thing About Working On Hinkley Point C?

Without a doubt, it’s being part of such a massive project. The sheer scale of construction here is unlike anything I’ve seen, and the site itself is like a small city – with the infrastructure to match! There’s currently over 5,000 workers on the site – which spans over 400 acres – at any one time; the complex has its own police station, ambulance and fire service; and we are surrounded by some of the largest construction equipment in the world. I’m proud to be part of the team that helps to keep such a significant project moving on a daily basis.

When it comes to fuelling your site, think bigger. Discover how Certas Energy provides assured and reliable fuel supply to some of the nation’s largest construction projects.

Want to know more about how our range of fuel supply and management solutions keep UK construction moving? Get in touch via our contact form or give us a call on 0345 600 3519.