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UK government intervenes to acquire steel components manufacturer

28th July 2021 - 12:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The nuclear reactor on RN Astute-class submarines includes steel components from Sheffield Forgemasters. (Photo: UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

Decision to nationalise Sheffield Forgemasters is a move to protect a strategically important industrial capability.

The UK government is to nationalise a company that makes key components for nuclear submarine reactors.

Under a £2.56 million ($3.55 million) offer to acquire Sheffield Forgemasters International Limited (SFIL) from the MoD, the government will refinance the company ‘and secure the supply of components for the MoD’s critical existing and future UK defence programmes’, it announced on 28 July.

SFIL will also receive up to £400 million in defence-critical plant, equipment and infrastructure investment from the MoD over the next 10 years to support defence programmes.

SFIL produces cast and forged steel components for the UK RN Astute-class submarine programme.

The MoD justified the move to acquire SFIL by arguing that the Sheffield firm is the only available manufacturer ‘with the skills and capability to produce large scale high-integrity castings and forgings from specialist steels in an integrated facility to the highest standards required for these programmes’. 

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