Thursday, June 19, 2014

News: Rolls-Royce to partner with Chinese nuclear reactor vendor

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Rolls-Royce has signed an important memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CGN, the Chinese nuclear reactor vendor. The agreement will see Rolls-Royce cooperate more closely with CGN in the field of civil nuclear power, in the UK and other overseas markets.

Outline plans have been approved for a 21,000 sq m "Project PoWeR" facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham for manufacturing and assembling power vessels for the next generation of nuclear power stations being built at home and potentially overseas. It will bring another 180 of the initial 360 jobs from Rolls-Royce and work will start when the world-renowned engineers receive the first orders for its nuclear components.

The MoU is another step forward and will explore possible collaboration in areas such as engineering support, provision of components and systems, supply chain management and instrumentation and control technology.

Rolls-Royce has significant nuclear expertise, including providing advice to governments and operators, supply chain management and manufacturing and technical engineering support. Today, Rolls-Royce supplies safety-critical instrumentation and control technology to more than 70 per cent of nuclear reactors in operation or under construction in China and Emergency Diesel Generators to almost 40 per cent.

CGN is described as "a colossal state-owned enterprise," and comprises its core member (China General Nuclear Power Corporation) and over 30 subsidiaries. The current installed capacity of CGN's operating nuclear generating units has reached 11,620 MWe, and 13 other nuclear generating units are currently under construction, involving a total installed capacity of 15,500 MWe.

China has 21 reactors in operation, 28 currently under construction and further reactors planned.

Jason Smith, president or nuclear at Rolls-Royce, said: "China represents one of the world's largest civil nuclear markets in which Rolls-Royce has been supplying safety-critical technology and solutions for 20 years.

"I am delighted that we have built a partnership with CGN based on mutual trust. I look forward to exploring how we can broaden our work together in our domestic and international markets."

During a visit by Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, this week, the UK and Chinese governments announced the UK-China nuclear cooperation statement which paves the way for Chinese companies to invest in Hinkley Point C, the first of the UK's new generation of nuclear power stations. EDF Energy proposes to build two Areva EPRs at the site, and has previously announced that China General Nuclear Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation will take a stake of around 30-40 per cent in the venture.

Energy and Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "This deal brings a real boost to the UK economy. Closer cooperation between the UK and China could be worth hundreds of millions of pounds to British businesses. We are making the most of Britain's low carbon energy to maximise jobs and business opportunities, get the best deal for customers and reduce our reliance on expensive foreign oil and gas imports."

Rolls-Royce website

Images: Number 10

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