Iconic Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird is to enter the nuclear new build construction market after forming a joint venture with Warrington-based engineer Nuvia.
The pair will bid jointly for contracts to make modules and components for new nuclear plants. The companies said the alliance could potentially create and secure hundreds of jobs at Cammell Laird when the new build programme begins in around two years' time.
Under proposals announced by the Government in November 2009 10 potential sites have been identified for new nuclear power stations, including five in the North West and North Wales.
Nuvia managing director Keith Collett declined to put a value on the orders the partnership hoped to attract but said the JV had 'incredible potential' and work is already underway to prepare the firms to bid for contracts. "We are hugely excited about this alliance," he said. "Nuvia has an established track record of delivering large nuclear projects in the UK. Reinforcing our expertise in the sector, which covers the entire cycle from new build, to operations and maintenance, to final decommissioning and waste disposal, with Cammell Laird's skill set forges a formidable team. Cammell Laird offers world class expertise and facilities to undertake heavy engineering and module fabrication. Moreover its geographical location makes transportation of modules straightforward by sea and enables us to pitch for work across the UK."
John Syvret, chief executive of Cammell Laird, said the partnership marked a historic landmark for Cammell Laird as the business seeks to catapult itself further into the emerging engineering markets. "This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a relationship of towering achievement," he said. "Nuvia is a market leader in the nuclear sector and has a terrific track record in the industry making it the perfect partner. The nuclear sector, like the off shore renewables sector, presents huge growth potential for Cammell Laird. We can offer experience in heavy fabrication, specialist engineering and project management together with unrivalled facilities including our 40,000 m2 modular construction hall which is capable of fabricating modules and major components of up to 1,000 tonnes.
"The energy sector is the future and through our partnership we believe we can thrust our companies to the forefront of the nuclear sector. This could bring massive benefits to the Merseyside and the North West economy."
The Cammell Laird facility at Birkenhead covers 120 acres with four dry-docks, including the largest on the west coast of mainland UK.