Friday, August 31, 2012

News: Rolls-Royce plans for Project Power approved

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Detailed plans for a second state-of-the-art factory for Rolls-Royce at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) have been approved by members of the planning board at Rotherham Council.

The 21,000 sq m "Project PoWeR" facility is proposed for manufacturing and assembling power vessels for the next generation of nuclear power stations. It will bring another 180 of the initial 360 jobs from Rolls-Royce.

Work is already underway on Rolls-Royce's 14,900 sq m Advanced Blade Casting Facility on the AMP and a third 8,800 sq m building has outline planning permission.

Again designed by Sheffield architects, Bond Bryan, the second factory will be rectangular and built in Rolls-Royce's corporate style with metallic cladding and metal louvres.

The height of the building will be irregular as it will need to accommodate the production of vessels that will weigh 140 tonnes and stand 23 metres high, making it the tallest building on the AMP at 33.5m. It will also include a furnace area that will reach temperatures of up to 60°C.

Planners concluded that: "the proposed high bay will be a prominent addition to the AMP, however it is considered that due to the industrial nature of the area and subject to the acceptable use of external materials, the proposed building is appropriate for its location and would not have a materially detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the AMP."

The development will also include office space, a gatehouse and utility buildings. Two new ponds will be created as part of the landscape plan creating a new valuable ecological habitat.

Conditions for securing planning permission include improvements to the road network, travel plans and new bus shelters.

Discussions are taking place regarding the transportation of the massive finished products as the largest power vessel will require an 18 axle vehicle. What should prove to be quite a sight, transportation will take place once a year and will be planned well in advance and only take place at night to avoid any disturbance to normal traffic flows and activity.

Simon Spode, marketing manager at the AMP, said: "The Council's approval for this facility is great news and will further cement the relationship between the AMP and Rolls-Royce.

"We look forward to working with Rolls-Royce and their partners to bring this project to a successful conclusion, in the same way that we are already doing with Rolls-Royce's advanced aerospace blade facility."

Construction will begin in autumn 2012 and it is anticipated that the first of the pressure vessels would be constructed in 2015.

Landowners, Harworth Estates also had plans approved for moving and importing 450,000 cubic metres of material to complete the restoration and development platforms on the Waverley site.

Rolls-Royce website

AMP website

Images: Rolls-Royce / URS / Bond Bryan

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