£170m for nuclear forgings

Posted on 16 Mar 2010 by The Manufacturer

Business secretary Lord Mandelson will tomorrow announce a £170m funding package for nuclear manufacturer Sheffield Forgemasters International.

The cash is to be used to buy a 15,000-tonne press to produce forgings for modern reactors which will make Sheffield Forgemasters International (SFIL) one of only a few global companies in the world to supply a necessary component to the nuclear industry – a key part of most countries’ low carbon strategies. The development has been touted as a potentially key decision to the success of Britain’s low carbon industrial strategy.

It is thus hoped that SFIL will provide Britain with a prominent stature in the international industry
The package comprises £65m in soft loans from government, £35m from the European Investment Bank, a £50m cash advance on an order from nuclear reactor firm Westinghouse and £20m which SFIL has secured from banks.

Unite has welcomed the move. The union’s Dougie Rooney said: “The only hope for the nation in terms of being able to pay off its debts is for the UK’s engineering industry to become a global supply-chain player supplying components and equipment for new energy projects.”

Mandelson will be joined in Sheffield by energy secretary, Ed Miliband and business minister, Pat McFadden tomorrow at SFIL’s plant to make the announcement.