Friday, February 17, 2012

News: Rolls-Royce power ahead with nuclear deal

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Rotherham's place at the heart of advanced manufacturing for the civil nuclear sector has been emphasised with the signing of a £400m agreement between Rolls-Royce and AREVA.

The agreement was announced today at the same time as Prime Minister David Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy signed an agreement to co-operate on civil nuclear energy, paving the way for the construction of a new generation of power plants in the UK.

The government believes that the Anglo-French agreement could lead to investment worth £60 billion and the creation 30,000 jobs. Hundreds will be created in Rotherham.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "As two great civil nuclear nations, we will combine our expertise to strengthen industrial partnership, improve nuclear safety and create jobs at home.

"I am delighted that Rolls-Royce and AREVA have today announced their intention to work together on global civil nuclear projects. This industrial collaboration will deliver significant growth and create more than 1,000 high quality manufacturing jobs in the UK over the next few years.

"My goal is clear. I want the vast majority of the content of our new nuclear plants to be constructed, manufactured and engineered by British companies. And we will choose the partners and technologies to maximise the economic benefits to the UK."

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, added: "We need hundreds billions of pounds of investment in clean energy projects in the UK. This will bring high-skilled job opportunities the length and breadth of the country.

"Construction workers, engineers, technicians – they will all have a role to play."

Today's agreement will see AREVA and Rolls-Royce strengthen their cooperation for the UK civil nuclear market, covering nuclear new build and fuel cycle.

Rolls-Royce will provide significant manufacturing and other engineering services for European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) projects starting with the UK's first at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

AREVA and Rolls-Royce also confirmed that they would work closely on nuclear facilities around the world.

In 2009, Rolls-Royce announced that it was to make a multi million pound investment in the region as part of the UK Government's civil nuclear package.

Outline plans have already been approved for a 21,000 sq m Rolls-Royce facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham. The "Project PoWeR" facility is designed for manufacturing and assembling power vessels for these next generation nuclear power stations.

It is one of three planned facilities that could create 360 jobs initially on 13 ha of land acquired from UK Coal.

It is expected that detailed proposals will come forward for the Project PoWeR facility soon and the delivery of the first vessel is anticipated in 2015.

Rolls-Royce is also the lead industrial partner at The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), also on the AMP in Rotherham.

The Nuclear AMRC is a joint initiative between the University of Sheffield, The University of Manchester, and a consortium of industry partners. It will provide a focal point for the bulk of the UK civil nuclear manufacturing industry supply chain, ensuring that manufacturers in the UK have the capability and capacity required to compete for nuclear new build in the UK and globally, from skills training to research and development.

In March 2011, the Nuclear AMRC signed a new collaborative agreement with Areva, at the same as Rolls-Royce signed a strategic partnership to supply key components for the French group's EPR reactor.

The Nuclear AMRC is acting as an entry way for companies which do not have an existing relationship with Areva, but which have the potential to become nuclear-capable and provide products within Areva's scope of supply.

Rolls-Royce website
Nuclear AMRC website

Images: Areva / epr-reactor.co.uk

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