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Asbestos hazard at Hinkley as EDF says 'good progress' on £1.2bn civils deal

EDF Energy has insisted it is making ‘good progress’ on appointing a preferred bidder at Hinkley Point C, just a week after one of the bidders told CN the contract is unlikely to be awarded before 2013.

A spokesman said the energy firm expects to be able to “make an announcement to take forward this particular contract soon” despite repeated delays in the scheme which industry experts had expected to go to preferred bidder status before now.

Vinci chief executive John Stanion had told CN he expects the contract to be delayed until 2013, with construction unlikely to start before 2014, however a preferred bidder is likely to be selected before then..

Another chief executive at a contractor bidding for work at Hinkley Point C told CN this month that discussions on contracts had come to a standstill.

Click here for the interview with Vinci chief executive John Stanion following the publication of the draft energy bill.

Meanwhile EDF Energy has had to submit further information West Somerset Council to continue its remediation works at the site.

Contractors have found more asbestos than it expected, left over from the construction of the A and B stations in the 1960s and 1970s, and now expect to complete remediation works (see attached picture) by the end of the year.

Bam Nuttall and Kier were appointed to carry out site preparation and earthworks at the site. While site preparation has started, the earthworks deal is on hold with a date not yet set for it to commence.

An EDF Energy spokesman said: “More time is required to remove the asbestos materials safely and in a controlled manner. This will allow us to work safely, efficiently and expeditiously when we progress into the large-scale earth-moving activities.”

“Site preparation work gets the site ready for the main construction to come and will allow Hinkley Point C to be built sooner than would otherwise be the case, should development consent be granted by the Planning Inspectorate.

“Separately, we are making good progress on the selection of a preferred bidder for the main civils contract and expect to be able to make an announcement to take forward this particular contract soon.”

The work to be progressed on-site includes archaeological excavations; fencing around the site; demolishing old disused barns; diverting footpaths; and clearing vegetation, undertaken under the expert supervision of on-site ecologists.

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