Wincanton supported Hinkley Point C (HPC), the UK’s first nuclear power station build in a generation, to reach a significant milestone in early 2021, when the installation of the Unit 2 CRF Outlet Pipes were completed.

As an extension of the ten-year contract with NNB (Nuclear New Build) / EDF Energy - Wincanton is the official Tier 1 warehouse and transport service partner for the megaproject - we managed the receipt, storage and delivery of over 260 CRF outlet pipes for use across Unit 2 for Socea Denys JV. The operation was hosted at a 100,000 sq.ft secure location in Avonmouth Docks, Somerset.

Manufactured in Belgium, the pipes are up to 4.1m in diameter and weigh as much as 23.2t. 16 different pipe types were shipped in segments to the Wincanton-operated site, where they were stored until they were required for the build. At HPC, they were then welded together by Socea Denys ahead of installation.

The installation of the ‘Circuit de Refroidissement’ (CRF) outlet pipes was a major milestone for the HPC Project, with the pipes key components of the water intake system installed for the cooling of the nuclear reactors.

Significant improvements

The Wincanton operation enabled Socea Denys JV to transport the pipes and build stock levels close to the construction site. By doing this, it was able to reduce lead times and protect capacity at its own manufacturing facility. The required storage space at the HPC construction site was also minimised so that it could be utilised to support other programmes of work.

Wincanton worked collaboratively with NNB/EDF Energy and Socea Denys JV to inspect the CRF pipes at the point of receipt, during storage and at the point of despatch. This guaranteed the pipes received at the construction site were ready for deployment as required.

Unit 1 works were successfully completed back in April 2020 and Wincanton played a key role in achieving significant improvements across many different aspects of the delivery of the programme for Unit 2.

The installation period was reduced from 17 months for Unit 1 (double shift) to 15 months for Unit 2 (single shift). Right First Time increased from 80% to 96%, and design optimisation delivered a 14% reduction in steel mass and 50% increase in fixing productivity.

What the
customer says

Rob Evans ― Integration Manager, Site Operations, HPC, said:

"Through detailed and positive collaboration Wincanton were able to support and enable the project through storage and logistics management. The service delivery was key contributing factor in the successful CRF pipe installation. The Wincanton team developed plans, policies and processes to support the needs of the contract, these were executed and implemented to deliver effectively."


CRF outlet pipes delivered acroos Unit 2 installation for the Cocea Denys JV

23.2 tons

weight of the heaviest CRF outlet pipes delivered to meet the milesone


right first time in Unit 2 delivery, up from 80% in Unit 1


increase in fixing productivity in Unit 2