Engineering specialist launches nuclear partnership

Sheffield Forgemasters, the heavy engineering firm specialising in the production of nuclear grade steel castings and forgings, has announced plans to join forces with other firms with the aim to supply large-scale gigawatt nuclear projects across the UK, starting with Sizewell C.

The Sheffield-based business, which was taken into public ownership last year, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining its intent to supply the proposed new nuclear power station in Suffolk. The agreement will see Forgemasters provide a range of specialised qualification components for the project and indicates potential longer-term opportunities for collaboration on future European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) projects across the UK.

Through this new strategic partnership, the company will join the Sizewell C Consortium, an organisation representing more than 200 businesses across the nuclear and construction supply chain, which is preparing to mobilise onto Sizewell C as the construction of Hinkley Point C draws to a close.

The agreement builds on three previous MoUs signed by the consortium with Wales, the North of England and East of England, which will inject over £7.2 billion into the supply chain and create 70,000 job opportunities throughout the construction of the project

David Bond, Sheffield Forgemasters, CEO

David Bond, CEO of Sheffield Forgemasters, who is shortlisted in this year’s Northern Leadership Awards said: “Joining the Sizewell C Consortium marks a positive step forward for our business and unites two strategically significant industries at the forefront of driving clean energy growth opportunities for Britain.

“We will be manufacturing qualification components in order to join the supply chain for Sizewell C, with the eventual aim, to supply components into the build. If we can secure supply into the UK’s nuclear fleet, we can continue to invest in our workforce, provide local high-skilled job opportunities, and re-shore nuclear manufacturing for the UK fleet.”

The announcement is described as further good news for the British steel industry, which has been under pressure in recent years due to international competition and high domestic costs. It will similarly benefit the nuclear industry through deepening expertise across clean technology, which the UK in turn can begin to export globally.

Cameron Gilmour, spokesperson for the Sizewell C Consortium, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sheffield Forgemasters into the Sizewell C Consortium. With a long history of supporting British infrastructure builds, their knowledge and expertise will be valuable in driving forward our ability to deliver new large-scale nuclear, with Sizewell C as the next project in line.