Nuclear jobs boost for factory

Independent Forgings and Alloys has unveiled plans to invest in additional forging capacity at its Penistone Road plant in Sheffield.

The company made the announcement as it took another step towards becoming a key supplier to companies building new nuclear reactors in the UK and abroad.

IFA is one of 25 companies that pre-qualified as a supplier to power plant developer AREVA and the company has now signed a memorandum of understanding with the French firm.

The agreement relates to two new EPR pressurised water reactors, due to be built for energy company EDF, at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

IFA says the collaboration could also extend to other reactors planned for the UK.

Managing director Andy McGuinness said: “Specialist forgings will be a key requirement to the nuclear industry supply chain and represents an important area for IFA to grows its business.

“The potential demand and long term commitments of these projects mean that the company will make investments in additional forge capacity and resources necessary to become a leader in this field.”

Mr McGuinness said that the investment in new capacity, together with its existing collaboration with Rolls Royce and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield, meant it had the manufacturing and technical resources to be competitive as well as supportive of UK component manufacturers in AREVA’s supply chain.

IFA has supplied forged components for UK nuclear programmes since the 1950s.

The firm is currently working with many of the major companies preparing to build the new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK.