GE Power’s Steam Power has started manufacturing the first rotor of the Arabelle steam turbine for the Hinkley Point C (HPC) project in the UK.

Production work is being carried out at GE’s centre of excellence in Belfort, France. The initiation of first-line rotor manufacturing activities is a key step in the execution of the HPC project as it enables the manufacturing process of further turbine components.

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The contract was awarded in May 2016 and is said to be on track to have its first 1,770MW EPR reactor unit completed by 2025.

“We are on track with the project, which is expected to deliver around 7% of the UK’s power generation capacity for the next 60 years.”

Under the contract, GE will be responsible for delivering two conventional power islands for HPC, including the Arabelle steam turbine, generator, and other critical equipment.

With an ability to generate 2% more power than a traditional configuration, HPC’s Arabelle turbines are reportedly longer than an Airbus 380 and will have the capacity to produce 1,770MW each.

GE Power Steam Power business operations senior executive Matthias Schweinfest said: “We are very pleased with the progress of the Hinkley Point C project. We are on track with the project, which is expected to deliver around 7% of the UK’s power generation capacity for the next 60 years.

“GE’s Arabelle steam turbine, which represents 6 decades of nuclear steam turbine expertise, is the prime solution to ensure the delivery of clean, reliable power that will bolster the UK’s energy infrastructure.”

Located in Bridgwater, Somerset, HPC is reported to be the UK’s first nuclear power station built in more than two decades. It is being developed by Electricite de France (EDF).

Once operational, HPC is expected to supply more than 3.2GW of power to the grid, which is enough to cover six million homes and avoid 9Mt of CO2 emissions each year.