Rolls-Royce shelves two factory plans in South Yorkshire

Rolls-Royce turbine blade casting factory AMP Rotherham
Rolls-Royce turbine blade casting factory AMP Rotherham
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Plans for a second multi-million pound Rolls-Royce factory in South Yorkshire - approved three years ago - have been shelved due to delays in building the next generation of nuclear power stations.

It was hoped that Project PoWer would open this year, manufacturing 60ft, 140 tonne tanks for pressurised water reactors, creating 180 hi-tech jobs.

The original plan was for it to open before the £110m turbine blade factory on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham - which was officially opened by business minister Matthew Hancock last week. It is set to create 150 jobs.

But nothing has happened since Rolls was granted detailed planning permission in 2012.

A spokeswoman said: “There have been a lot of changes in the UK nuclear new build market and we are continuing to develop our manufacturing plans in line with our customer needs.

“We are progressing these plans through a staged approval process, including consideration of a number of significant external governing factors.

“Consequently, we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Rolls has a memorandum of understanding to work with French company EDF which is set to operate the first new nuclear power station for 25 years – Hinckley Point C in Somerset – although no commercial contracts have been signed.

The scheme has planning permission, but EDF is still negotiating with Chinese financial backers.

Prior to that there were delays caused by negotiations over the strike price - how much the Government will pay for electricity.

The civil nuclear industry has also been affected by the Fukishima disaster in Japan which sparked a worldwide safety review.

Rolls’ original plan was for three factories, including a third for a supplier. It too is on ice.

Meanwhile, other building projects on the Advanced Manufacturing Park are under way including factories for Nikken and Maher and a £4.2m Technology Centre2 comprising units for small firms. The original is home to 50 companies.