Sheffield steel firm considers building 15,000 tonne press

An internationally-known steel firm from Sheffield is considering building a 15,000 tonne press in order to meet demand for parts arising from the thriving nuclear power industry.

Sheffield Forgemasters (SFI) has already placed an order for a 4,000 tonne press and is looking to order the bigger model in the next few weeks, as governments around the world are taking nuclear power options more seriously.

Peter Birtles, a director of SFI, said: “The number of presses in the world that are big enough to supply the nuclear industry is tiny.

“The board has agreed this investment in principle – we just have to find the optimum way of funding it.”

According to reports, SFI is currently in talks with potential backers to gain funding for the £70 million investment required to acquire the press.

Recently, SFI has clinched a contract to supply a US engineering company with one primary-coolant pump a month for the next ten years.

It has also been advising the Indian government, which is considering developing around 35 nuclear power stations in the next 25 years.

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