‘Big Carl’ The world biggest crane has been shipped over from Belgium to help build the new power station.
Construction work at Hinkley Point in Somerset is now well underway, with thousands of workers building a new EDF power station at the site.
But amongst the people, vehicles and machines at the site, one structure is dominating the Somerset skyline.
The worlds biggest crane, the Sarens SGC-250 (or ‘big Carl’ as it has affectionately been called) was shipped over to the site from Ghent in Belgium to assist in the construction.
Although it it does not have the traditional look of a crane, Big Carl is a monster of a machine.
The epic piece of machinery had to be transported on more than 250 lorries and can operate at up to 250m high – taller than One Canada Square – the second highest building in the UK.
Big Carl will be able to move, whilst it is “fully rigged” from one place on the site, to another, with the company behind the structure saying it is an industry first.
More than six kilometres of rail has been laid for the crane, so it traverse the sprawling Somerset site.
It will also be able to move 360 degrees on its axis, meaning it can travel freely around the construction area.
As well as its sky-rocketing height, it also has a huge reach and can be extended to be given a 275m radius – more than the length of two football pitches.
Because of its size, it is easy to forget that it can lift a huge amount of material, with it being able to carry up to 3,000 tonnes in one go.
Sarens, the team behind the crane say that whilst it is at Hinkley Point, it will be used to install prefab concrete elements, steel structures and even reactor equipment for the power station.
Big Carl will be part of a fleet of 53 cranes at the site, and be mostly used at night – in order to minimise disruption during the day.
EDF are constructing a nuclear power plant at the site near Bridgwater in Somerset and began building in December 2018, with the aim of it being completed by 2025.
The project will cost an estimated £20.3 billion and is the first new nuclear plant to be built in the UK in 30 years.