Catterick and Ferrybridge shortlisted for new £200m Rolls-Royce factory

A new Rolls-Royce factory manufacturing key parts for a planned nuclear power station could be located in Yorkshire, it has been announced.

The company has announced a shortlist of locations it is examining as the potential base for a factory to build 'heavy vessels' for its planned Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power station, which will be based in either North Wales or Cumbria.

Among the shortlisted locations are Catterick in North Yorkshire and Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire.

Other potential locations include Grimsby and Stallingborough in Lincolnshire, as well as Newton Aycliffe and Sunderland in the North East.

An artist's impression of what the SMR power station could look like. Sites have been shortlisted for a new factory to supply the eventual power station.

A site in Carlisle in Cumbria and one in Deeside in Wales are also on the list.

The factory will be around the size of three football pitches, valued at between £100m to £200m and is expected to create more than 200 permanent jobs.

It will supply a Rolls-Royce SMR power station which will have the capacity to generate 470MW of low carbon energy, equivalent to more than 150 onshore wind turbines and enough to power a million homes. It will provide consistent baseload generation for at least 60 years, helping to support the roll out of renewable generation and overcome intermittency issues.

Two further manufacturing factories to supply the power station will also be required but the 'heavy vessels' site will be the largest and most complex facility. The vessels are required for parts of the process such as acting as a containment unit for the reactor core.

Construction of the new factor will begin once Rolls-Royce SMR receives the go-ahead to build a fleet of SMRs in the UK.

The shortlist was selected against a clear set of criteria, picked from over 100 submissions from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and development agencies.

Rolls-Royce SMR Chief Executive, Tom Samson, said: “I would like to thank everyone who sent in a submission suggesting locations in their region for the first Rolls-Royce SMR factory. The response was fantastic and shows the ambition and appetite of the UK to build and operate a fleet of SMRs which will provide affordable, low-carbon electricity for generations to come.

“The final location will come from the shortlist and will result in significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and will support the UK Government’s aspirations for levelling-up. Today’s announcement is another example of the pace of our project and why Rolls-Royce SMR is the UK’s domestic nuclear energy champion.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This is fantastic news for Sunderland, North Yorkshire, Deeside, Lincolnshire and Carlisle which, if these SMRs go ahead, could be at the forefront of manufacturing components for this British-made tech.

“Backed by £210m, SMRs have the potential to provide quicker and cheaper low-carbon nuclear power, and today’s announcement underlines the potential for new jobs around the country created by embracing this new technology.”

Rolls-Royce say the company's SMR’s approach is a "completely different way of building nuclear power stations", where 90 per cent of the Rolls-Royce SMR built in factory conditions significantly reducing the timescales and project risk.

The other two factories will manufacture civils modules and mechanical electrical and plumbing (MEP) modules – which will be transported to sites and assembled into a nuclear power station that will generate 470MW of low-carbon electricity. These locations will be selected from the full list of submissions.

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