Monday, June 18, 2018

News: INEOS re-submits application for second Rotherham test well

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On the back of a successful appeal, oil and gas exploration and production business, INEOS has re-submitted a planning application for a second test drilling well, which was previously refused by Rotherham Council's planning board.

The plans state that additional survey work has been undertaken and that the decision at the appeal shows that councillor's concerns over transport have not been backed up by evidence and that ecological reasons for refusal "would be difficult to defend."

The Government's planning inspector recently allowed an appeal for INEOS' initial plans to test for shale gas at a Green belt site at Harthill. This decision has given the firm confidence to re-submit a similar set of plans for a site at Woodsetts that were refused on similar grounds - transport and ecology.

The application would provide temporary permission for a maximum of five years and the operation would involve months of various site investigation surveys and site preparation before a period of drilling, coring and testing. A well would be drilled to approximately 2,800 m using a drill rig of maximum 60 m rig height followed by three months of testing.

The site, which is on agricultural land at Dewidales Wood, close to Woodsetts, Rackford Farm, Anston Stones Wood (a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)) and Lindrick golf course, would be restored after the activity has taken place and tests will be carried out on the suitability of the area for hydraulic fracturing.

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The Council's ecologist considered that the first application had a significant lack of supporting data due to lack of, or incomplete surveys and as such the Council could not adequately assess the submitted details. In March, members of the planning board voted unanimously to refuse the plans on ecological grounds and also added in another reason for refusal based on highway safety.

The senior highway development control officer at Rotherham Council had ultimately been happy with INEOS' transport management plans for both Harthill and Woodsetts. At the recent inquiry into the Harthill proposals, the plannig inspector concluded: "I am satisfied that there would be no residual, cumulative and severe impacts from the proposal that would make it unacceptable on transport grounds"

Resubmitting the plans on behalf of INEOS, planning consultants, Turley said: "The Inspector has clearly made his decision based on the technical evidence, and has given little weight to the points raised by members, as these were not supported by evidence of any harm. We consider that the same approach would be adopted in respect of the highways reason for refusal proposed by members for the Woodsetts application.

"This application has been re-submitted to offer an opportunity to rectify that decision and thus to avoid the potential for a second appeal, and the associated costs claims that may be made in light of the lack of evidence behind the reason for refusal."
On ecology, INEOS states that the Council's reasons against the Harthill and Woodsetts proposals are similar and that "given the Council's position under cross examination and the ultimate withdrawal of the reason for refusal at Harthill, we consider it would be professionally very difficult to seek to defend the same reason as applied to the Woodsetts development.

"We consider that the ecology reason put forward to refuse it can no longer be substantiated. This again offers the Council the opportunity to avoid a future Inquiry and potential claims for costs based on there being no evidence to support the reason for refusal."

INEOS website

Images: INEOS / Turley

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News: Housing contract wins for Horbury

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Rotherham construction group, Horbury, has secured two new contracts to provide property services to housing associations across the UK.

From its headquarters in the Moorgate area, the group combines a number of subsidiaries that specialise in areas including joinery, ceilings, dry lining and health and safety training.

Horbury Property Services, which has regional offices in London and South Wales together with the head office in Rotherham, provides a full range of services, which should be part of planned preventative maintenance programmes.

The subsidiary has secured approval on the Northern Housing Consortium Framework as the number one provider of passive fire safety services to its member organisations across the North of England.

The contract, which started in May, with the potential to run for four years, will see Horbury Property Services providing fire door and fire compartmentation inspection and remediation services.

The consortium is a membership organisation which represents the views of housing organisations in the North of England. Its members are made up of local authorities, ALMOs and associations that provide social housing for tenants in the North.

Richard Sutton, general manager at Horbury Property Services, said: "This is the latest in a number of framework approvals we have secured for fire safety, as we continue to demonstrate our expertise in the housing sector. We have our own experienced and certified team, with the capabilities to deliver fire safety works to the highest standards to ensure compliance to the regulations."

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Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA) has also appointed Horbury Property Services to provide fire safety services for its properties.

The contract, which is planned to run for three years, will see Horbury Property Services providing fire door and fire compartmentation inspection and remediation services.

Sutton, added: "We're very pleased to have secured this new contract with NCHA, which is the latest in a number of new contract wins. As FIRAS-approved contractors, we have the experience and skills to be able to deliver fire safety works to the highest standards to ensure compliance to the regulations."

Nottingham Community Housing Association is one of the largest locally-based housing groups in the East Midlands, managing over 9,200 homes and housing more than 20,000 tenants across the East Midlands in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

Horbury Property Services website

Images: Horbury

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News: Large fire at Rotherham recycling site

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12 fire engines and 60 firefighters tackled a large fire at a recycling centre in Kilnhurst, Rotherham yesterday, just over a year after a previous fire on the site.

Firefighters were called to the scene at around 4:30pm on Sunday to Moulding Solutions Ltd and Universal Recycling on Wharf Road where plumes of thick smoke could be seen for miles around.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) called on specialist vehicles including detection and monitoring equipment, a high volume pump and a turntable ladder.

Fire officers urged people to avoid the area and for local residents, officers advised them to keep all windows and doors shut due to the smoke within the area.

Wharf Road was closed wit a cordon put in place while firefighters dealt with the blaze. The site is close to relatively new housing developments by Gleeson and Gladedale (now Avant Homes).

The fire service took to social media to keep people up to date on the incident stating that they expected residents would be able to travel as usual today. Two fire engines remained this morning, largely damping down the fire.

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SYFR confirmed that no-one was injured in the incident and said in a statement: "Officers would like to thank the local community for their understanding and patience while work is underway to deal with incident and ensure everyone's safety."

Moulding Solutions Ltd is a major recycler servicing general industry, recycling end of life, scrap and redundant plastics.

Investing in new shredders and granulators, the firm can process four tonnes per hour, taking in scrap and redundant stock from manufacturers and selling on polymers and compounds.

Moulding Solutions shares the Kilnhurst site with The London Wiper Company Ltd, trading as Universal Recycling.

Universal Recycling expanded in 2014 as it looked to grow. However, prices and market forces in the recycling have hit turnover which dropped by £10m between 2015 and 2016.

The company has targeted the WEEE recycling market, investing in a facility to recover various metal components from electric and electronic waste.

A fire at the premises on May 8 2017 destroyed part of the company's stock but Moulding Solutions Ltd was unaffected. An investigation indicated that the fire started accidentally due to machinery.

Moulding Solutions Ltd website
Universal Recycling website
SYFR website

Images: SYFR

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Friday, June 15, 2018

News: instantprint invests a further £3.25m

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Fast-growing online printing company instantprint has announced that it is investing a further £3.25m into the latest print technology this summer, creating up to 40 new job opportunities at its Rotherham facility.

The firm merged with fast-growing print experts, Bluetree Design & Print Ltd in 2012. The group moved to bigger Rotherham premises in 2015 when funding from Barclays and the Sheffield City Region Growth Fund Programme enabled the company to take a new 86,900 sq ft site at Brookfields Park in Manvers.

Over the last five years, instantprint has invested over £20m into their print production facility and, as a direct result, it has seen an increase in 206 employees over the last four years. Thanks to the recent investment, the printing firm is set to expand further, aiming to recruit a further 40 new employees before September.

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James Kinsella, Co-Founder of instantprint, said: "Our investment provides opportunities for both instantprint and for people in the region wanting to work for an exciting and growing business. As a result of this investment, we’re able to create a significant amount of job opportunities in the local area.

"At instantprint we're all about providing affordable print for small and micro businesses. This investment enables us to do what we do best – help small businesses thrive."

With this latest round of investment, instantprint aims to streamline turnaround times on booklets and large format printing. This will allow instantprint to offer even faster production times.

Kinsella added: "We've purchased two new print engines, both high-definition inkjet screen presses, these combined with in-line Tecnau cutting systems will really bolster our capacity, and further increase our efficiency. We have also recommissioned our second large format HP Scitex 11,000 print engine. Ultimately this investment strengthens our promise of fast turnarounds, helps us maintain our competitive prices and widens our product range.

"We've also invested substantially in our cutting, stitching and binding equipment, which will be a game changer for our stitched, wire bound and perfect bound books as we're now able to offer a speedier turnaround for those products."

instantprint website

Images: instantprint

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News: "Pivotal moment" for Rolls-Royce

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World-renowned engineers Rolls-Royce has confirmed a "fundamental restructuring" programme that affects 4,600 jobs.

Company bosses said that the proposals would deliver improved returns, higher margins and increased cash flow, supporting its long-term ambition to be the world's leading industrial technology company.

The approach involves a proposed reduction of 4,600 FTEs in non-manufacturing related headcount by early 2020, in order to create smaller and more cost effective corporate and support functions and reduce management layers and complexity. Most affected jobs are predominantly in the UK where the majority of corporate and support functions are based, particularly in Derby.

The most advanced turbine blade casting facility in the world was officially opened by Rolls-Royce on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham in 2014. The 150,000 sq ft facility employs around 150 people and has the capacity to manufacture more than 100,000 single crystal turbine blades a year.

Given that the focus of the restructure is on management and non-manufacturing roles, and the fact that the £110m Rotherham facility is needed to get the Trent 1000 programme back on track, it is unlikely that the site will be significantly affected.

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Warren East, Chief Executive at Rolls-Royce, said: "Our world-leading technology gives Rolls-Royce the potential to generate significant profitable growth. The creation of a more streamlined organisation with pace and simplicity at its heart will enable us to deliver on that promise, generating higher returns while being able to invest for the future.

"We have made progress in improving our day-to-day operations and strengthening our leadership, and are now turning to reduce the complexity that often slows us down and leads to duplication of effort. It is never an easy decision to reduce our workforce, but we must create a commercial organisation that is as world-leading as our technologies. To do this we are fundamentally changing how we work.

"These changes will help us deliver over the mid and longer-term a level of free cash flow well beyond our near-term ambition of around £1bn by around 2020. After a decade of significant investment we are committed to delivering improved returns while continuing to invest in the innovation needed to realise our long-term aspiration to be the world's leading industrial technology company."

An update to the markets said the company was "at a pivotal moment" where it would change its structure to three core areas - Civil Aerospace, Power Systems and Defence - with a much smaller, light-weight head office to remove complexity and duplication.

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Rolls-Royce also gave an update on the Trent 1000 this week where further engine checks are taking place after the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ordered airlines to replace some Trent 1000 engines on their aircraft.

Corrosion-related fatigue cracking was discovered on intermediate pressure (IP) blades in 2016. It was announced that the manufacturer would have to replace turbine blades on the entire fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners powered by its Trent 1000 engine.

A similar Intermediate Pressure Compressor durability issue has now been identified on a small number of engines from a different version of the Trent 1000. Inspections are taking place with key customer, Boeing and a redesign of the relevant part has been launched.

The issues hit Rolls-Royce for £170m in 2017 and in-service cash costs could reach £440m in 2018.

Bloomberg reports that suppliers are struggling to meet demand for compressor blades.

The Rotherham facility is one of only a handful of sites globally that produce the turbine blades and are controlled by Rolls-Royce.

The advanced turbine blade castings made in Rotherham run at temperatures 200 degrees above their melting point and rotate at 12,500 rpm, with their tips reaching 1,200mph – nearly twice the speed of sound. At take off each of the engine's high pressure turbine blades generates around 800 horsepower per blade - similar to a Formula One racing car.

Rolls-Royce website

Images: Rolls-Royce

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