Sheffield Forgemasters win £23 million US Navy contract

Steel giant Sheffield Forgemasters' '˜business turnaround plan' is in full swing after the firm scooped a £23 million order.

Sheffield Forgemasters
Sheffield Forgemasters

Bosses at the Brightside Lane company said the order to make castings for US nuclear submarines was testament to the skills of its workforce.

Forgemasters made a loss of £9.4m in the year to December 2014 – the first time since a management buy-out in 2005.

It shed 50 jobs last year, when losses halved to £4.8m.

In February, it axed a further 50 jobs and launched a turnaround plan. The company employs 640 today.

Forgemasters chief executive Dr Graham Honeyman said: “The order provides a boost for our Brightside Lane operations as we work towards our business turnaround plan.

“Work has already started and the first parts will complete in 2016 with another tranche of components anticipated to follow in 2017, providing work for our melt shop, foundry and machine shops.”

He added: “These are complex components and require detailed modelling and manufacturing to highly specific tolerances.”

The project has been granted full approval by the UK Government, he said.

The new deal builds on Forgemasters’ experience of supplying the British defence industry.

The company, which traces its roots back to 1805, makes steel cylinders used as casings for nuclear reactors in Trident submarines, as well as large castings used in defence equipment, nuclear power stations and oil and gas platforms.

Dr Honeyman added: “One of the company aims is to broaden our market reach for defence contracts, which we have unparalleled experience in servicing.

“We hope to build on the success of these orders as our teams search out greater opportunities for product diversification and services in a challenging global market.”

He added: “Our sales teams are currently working with customers on a variety of potential projects including those within the power generation, defence, civil nuclear, materials processing, offshore and tidal power industries.

“We are hopeful that there will be conversions for a number of these enquiries as we work through the next 12 months. We are fully committed to working through this transitionary period as we restructure and invest for greater efficiencies.”