The British Manufacturing Plant Constructors Association held their annual dinner in Sheffield on 26 April. The event was preceded by a visit to the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC), located at the Advanced Manufacturing Park on the outskirts of Sheffield.

The Nuclear AMRC (http://namrc.co.uk/) was set up in 2009 with support from UK’s Department for Business, Innovations and Skills, the former regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, and The European Regional Development Fund.

It is jointly led by the University of Sheffield and The University of Manchester, with Rolls-Royce as lead industrial partner. Other founding partners are Areva, Westinghouse, Sheffield Forgemasters and Tata Steel. It moved to new premises on Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Park in October 2011 and also retains a laboratory at Manchester University.

Chairman, BMPCA, Michael Holloway, addressed the dinner and speculated on the present development of UK’s nuclear power generating industry following the withdrawal of Germany’s main contractor as a bidder to build nuclear plant in UK. This leaves France’s Areva as the main technology provider and EDF as the most likely operator.

Mr Holloway continued by saying that the government appears to be rethinking wind turbines as a suitable source of renewable energy and was considering reducing the feed in tariff for such supplies.

The BMPCA represents the majority of UK companies involved in supply of melting furnaces, rolling mills, process lines and inspections systems, installation engineering and services such as consulting, maintenance and consumables.

It serves as the metal industries forum in which members can identify common opportunities, devise strategy for maximising the benefit from them and act as a united body to implement the strategy.

e-mail rruddlestone@eef.org.uk web www.bmpca.org.uk/index.php