Construction News understands that Kier and Bam Nuttall have been selected for a major EDF Energy earthworks contract at Hinkley Point.
The contract, believed to be worth in excess of £100m, would be the second time a Kier and Bam Nuttall joint venture has been selected for work by EDF Energy, following its award of the first construction contract worth £4m for site preparation works at the Hinkley Point C station last year.
The contract will involve the excavation and removal of around 2.3 million cubic metres of material, including topsoil and rock to be stockpiled for future use and to make way for the main construction of the new nuclear station.
EDF Energy is currently awaiting a final decision from West Somerset Council on its planning application to undertake preliminary works, after which time a contract is expected to be signed for the earthworks.
Subject to consent, an EDF construction update published last month stated the group plans to commence site preparation works at the start of the third quarter of this year, followed by construction of a temporary jetty in late 2011 with the main construction work on Hinkley Point C in the summer of 2012.
Sources told CN that the decision to select Kier and Bam Nuttall had been made but not publicised due to the sensitivity of timing as EDF attempts to win planning permission at the site.
The energy firm started its latest round of public consultation on 25 February focusing on material changes to the Hinkley Point C plans, with the public invited to submit until 28 March.
If it is granted planning permission for preliminary work, EDF is expected to submit a development consent order to the Infrastructure Planning Commission for the development of Hinkley Point C.
The proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point near Bridgwater, Somerset, will comprise two UK EPR reactor units, with an expected output of approximately 1,630MW per unit.
The energy firm expect the overall construction phase to take approximately nine years, with the first UK EPR reactor unit operational in 2018.