A Fenland manufacturer has won a “landmark” contract worth up to £47m to fabricate waste storage containers as it sets its sights on becoming a nuclear industry market leader.
Stainless Metalcraft, based in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, is one of two manufacturers which will share the contract to supply the nuclear site at Sellafield in Cumbria.
The announcement comes a year after the firm secured nearly £1m from the civil nuclear sharing in growth programme to develop its work in the nuclear supply chain over the next three years.
At that time managing director Austen Adams told the company’s 155-strong workforce that the potential growth of the nuclear industry was “quite stunning” and unveiled his target to grow annual turnover from £14m to £50m in four years.
In the wake of the latest contract, the company predicts at least 15 new power and nuclear jobs being created over the coming months.
For Metalcraft, a division of global company Avingtrans, phase one of the project will be worth between £5.25m and £8m and will cover the set up and development of a production facility.
Phase two will see the production of more than 1,000 three metre cube storage boxes over the next 10 years; it is thought there will be follow on contracts for many more units.
The boxes will store intermediate level waste (ILW) as a key part of the decommissioning programme for the site; they will be kept in a shielded facility at Sellafield before being moved to a disposal site.
Mr Adams said: “This is fantastic news for the business. The company already has a strong track record in the nuclear sector and this contract will not only secure nuclear jobs at our Chatteris facility but will also see the creation of a world-class, dedicated facility for the manufacture of ILW containers, which should see more jobs created as expected volumes grow.
“This is a landmark contract and we’re genuinely excited by the potential it offers. Since joining the civil nuclear sharing in growth programme just over 12 months ago, the team has invested a huge amount of time and effort to develop their understanding of the decommissioning process, honing the skills and processes required among the team, and this contract is just reward for all their hard work.”
Sellafield commercial director Robert Astall said: “Sellafield is delighted to announce Metalcraft as the successful company. They were chosen because of the quality and price they could offer to fulfil the contract to the exacting standards required to store nuclear waste.
“Part of the decision-making process to choose Metalcraft was their commitment to deliver a socio-economic package that includes a commitment to new engineering jobs, apprenticeships and training development.”