Business secretary Peter Mandelson today approved a £80M loan for Sheffield-based Forgemasters, as part of the government’s pledge to invest in the nuclear supply chain.
The award, made with Westinghouse, will give Forgemasters a competitive advantage in manufacturing steel pressure vessels for the nuclear, oil and gas, carbon capture and storage, and marine and hydro sectors, with the only other presses capable of making these forgings located in Japan.
The 15,000t press and finishing workshop will give the company access to the growing international new nuclear market. 50 reactors are under construction at any one time.
Mandelson said: “Forgemasters makes heavy-forged castings for advanced engineering projects – especially in the civil nuclear supply chain. There are just one or two other companies in the world with the kind of capability the new forge will provide and the accreditation needed to supply the global nuclear industry – and no others in Europe.
“Its availability in this country will boost UK deployment of new nuclear. It is brilliant news for the civil nuclear supply chain in Britain, and will help them compete against the best in the world. It will strengthen British technological leadership in this sector.
“We’re reinforcing this investment with the creation of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in South Yorkshire, a strategy for building our nuclear skills base through the Nuclear Skills Academy in Cumbria and a comprehensive strategy for engaging UK small and medium sized engineering companies in the huge opportunities in the nuclear supply chain,” he said.