Thursday, March 18, 2010

News: Investment confirms South Yorkshire as heart of civil nuclear industry


Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has announced an offer of a £80 million loan to Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL), confirming that South Yorkshire will be at the heart of the civil nuclear industry.

The loan, together with participation in the project from Westinghouse, the nuclear power company, will enable SFIL to build a major new manufacturing facility for ultra heavy forgings for civil nuclear power and other markets. This will make the company the second only in the world with necessary nuclear accreditation able to make the very largest forgings required to make the critical components required for the global civil nuclear industry.

Graham Honeyman, chief executive at SFIL, said: "The Government loan forms the final piece of a two-year project to finance the installation of a 15,000 tonne forging press which will place the UK at the peak of a global supply chain for civil nuclear manufacturing.

"This is a massive coup for UK manufacturing and firmly underpins the country's place at the leading edge of engineering technology.

"There are other companies in the world looking to enter the market for these large-scale components, but none will be able to achieve production in the same timescales as SFIL, partly due to the lengthy time it takes to gain international accreditation to manufacture for the nuclear industry."

Lord Mandelson said: "This is not just help for one company. Today we're announcing a willingness to invest that will make the UK a leading provider in the nuclear and the low carbon supply chain.

"Our high value manufacturing, knowledge base and highly skilled workforce mean with the right investment, like today's, the UK can win a huge amount of business in this growth sector. This is Government and industry working together to build the success of British manufacturing. This will help to realise the potential of our industrial base to be world leading, export led, and creating jobs and value here at home."

The loan follows last year's announcement of a Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, which will help UK civil nuclear manufactures develop world class manufacturing techniques and cost competitiveness.

SFIL are a founding member of the £25m Nuclear AMRC along with Rolls-Royce, Areva and Westinghouse. Rolls-Royce's planned civil nuclear facility will also be developed in South Yorkshire.

Professor Keith Ridgway, Programme Director at the Nuclear AMRC, said: "This is a very important step in the rejuvenation and development of the UK manufacturing supply chain. It will also be a major stimulus for nuclear new build activity in the region."

SFIL website



Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP