Saturday, August 13, 2022

Grimsby makes shortlist for Rolls-Royce factory

Grimsby has been named as a potential location for a £200 million Rolls-Royce factory which will manufacture the ‘heavy vessels’ for its small modular reactor (SMR) power stations.

Two sites in North East Lincolnshire are on a shortlist of eight announced by Rolls-Royce, which launched a competition at the start of the year asking for development bodies to bring forward locations.

The factory would be the first of three to be built by Rolls-Royce, and the largest and most complex facility. Construction would begin once the go-ahead has been received to build a fleet of SMRs in the UK.

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP has been undertaking a great deal of preparatory work with North East Lincolnshire Council to develop a proposal for Rolls-Royce focused on two sites: Pioneer Park at Stallingborough and the former Tioxide site on Moody Lane.

Owned by North East Lincolnshire Council, Pioneer Park is a new industrial site being created off the A180. Already home to high-growth eco-tech firm Myenergi, it is close to the Port of Immingham and situated in an area that boasts a strong heritage in pipework and fabrication. Businesses on the park have already won work in the nuclear sector.

The other site owned by ABP has just been brought to market. The former Huntsman Tioxide site has been cleared and branded The Future Grimsby site which can accommodate units ranging from 7,500 sq ft to 210,000 sq ft.

Rolls-Royce SMR Chief Executive Tom Samson said the final location would be chosen from the shortlist, adding that the winner would benefit from significant investment and long-term, high-skilled jobs.

The other shortlisted sites are at Catterick and Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, Sunderland, Newton Aycliffe, Deeside in north Wales and Carlisle.

The shortlist was selected from over 100 submissions from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and development agencies which suggested sites across the UK where the Rolls-Royce SMR factories could be located.

“This announcement by Rolls-Royce is fantastic news for Grimsby,” said Pat Doody, chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

“If one of these two sites gets the green light it means Grimsby will be at the forefront of manufacturing components for this vital British nuclear technology.

“Small modular reactors have the potential to provide quicker and cheaper low-carbon nuclear power, and Grimsby is an ideal place for this factory to be located.

“We look forward to working with the sites locally to develop our offer and to hearing Rolls-Royce’s final decision.”

Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is great news for North East Lincolnshire. We have been backing the renewable energy agenda for some time now, and the fit with our economic future is perfect.

“We built Pioneer Park with the aim of attracting investment to the area, specifically advanced manufacturing, and with investment come jobs for local people and different and attractive aspirations for our young people.

“Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactors are at the cutting edge of innovation and to be the location chosen as the first site manufacturing components for these zero-carbon power stations would be a perfect fit for the Energy Estuary which has already attracted offshore wind and is leading the way to industrial decarbonisation.

“Rolls-Royce will be doing a lot of work in the background to make sure that they get the best business deal possible. We want to be in a place where we try to top that list.”

ABP’s regional director for the Humber, Simon Bird, said: “Together with ABP’s other Humber ports – Immingham, Hull, and Goole – The Future Grimsby site provides an unparalleled gateway for the trade connecting businesses across the UK, Europe and beyond. It also offers access to industrial and logistic hubs across the North East and the East Midlands.

“ABP has a strong history of working collaboratively with a range of industry sectors. The recent focus on supply-chain pressures makes a close working relationship with the logistics sector crucially important for the wider national economy. Grimsby is also at the forefront of low carbon energy and carbon capture innovations.”

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