Manufacturing News, March 2017

The new owners of the UK’s last aluminium smelter plan to make vehicle components on the site in a move that could create hundreds of jobs.  Companies created by GFG Alliance took over the running of the Lochaber Smelter near Fort William last year. The new project would involve the creation of a steel rolling mill and facilities for making components such alloy wheels.  It could add 600 jobs to the 170 already involved with the yard. The auto-components manufacturing plant forms ... Read more

Power Generation News, March 2017

A fourth phase of a wind farm straddling the boundary between the Borders and East Lothian is being considered. It would take the total number of turbines at Crystal Rig in the Lammermuir Hills to over 100. A briefing note on the latest proposal for a further 11 turbines has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council. Developers Fred Olsen Renewables said it was an “ideal location” to help meet renewable energy targets. When the original 25-turbine Crystal Rig development became operational in ... Read more

Automotive News, March 2017

Toyota Motor Europe has announced that it will be investing a further £240m in its Derbyshire site to improve plant competitiveness and promote UK supply chain efficiencies.   Starting this year, Toyota’s Burnaston facility is expected to be progressively upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems to enable the production of vehicles on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. The investment programme also includes (subject to due diligence) up to £21.3m support from the UK government for training, research and development, and ... Read more

Lloyds Bank’s third annual survey of the UK automotive manufacturing sector,

This is Lloyds Bank’s third annual survey of the UK automotive manufacturing sector, part of a series of reports that look to examine the main opportunities and issues affecting Britain’s key industries. 2016 was a tumultuous year, with huge political upheaval across the globe bringing potential economic uncertainties. The UK’s decision to leave the EU created the biggest potential uncertainty for the UK’s automotive industry last year. Not only are many of the car makers operating in the UK internationally owned – from Bentley to BMW – but the EU is the biggest ... Read more

Aerospace News, February 2017

A bribery settlement and the fall in the pound have pushed engineering giant Rolls-Royce to a record loss. The jet engine maker reported a loss before tax of £4.6bn for 2016. Rolls-Royce agreed to pay £671 m to settle corruption cases with UK and US authorities and it has written off £4.4bn from currency related contracts. Like many international businesses, Rolls-Royce usually “hedges” its bets to protect itself from fluctuating currency markets. Most international aerospace contracts are priced in dollars, but, as a ... Read more

Oil & Gas News, February 2017

A new research and development facility has opened in Aberdeen to help breathe new life into the struggling North Sea oil industry. The Oil and Gas Technology Centre will partly fund the work while also acting as a bridge between small tech firms and the big oil producers. Oil supply company Mistras has been developing technology more commonly used to enable expectant mothers to see their babies. The ultrasound scanners, complete with cold jelly, are being used to detect corrosion in pipes. ... Read more

Manufacturing News, February 2017

MANUFACTURING   The newly appointed managing director of the Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology training hub has challenged employers to help him create a ‘Marches Engineering Powerhouse’.  Based in Bridgnorth (Shropshire), the 36,000 sqft Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMI) was unveiled in December 2016 and has the ambitious target of reaching and training 2,020 learners by 2020’.   Its managing director, Matt Snelson believes that Industry has to stop ‘cannibalising’ the skills pool and instead invest in developing the next-generation of engineers ... Read more

Power Generation News, February 2017

The Scottish government has approved plans to increase the size of a South Lanarkshire wind farm.  Hamilton-based Banks Renewables has received permission from the Scottish government’s Energy Consents & Deployment Unit (EDCU) for its Kype Muir Extension wind farm, south of Strathaven.   The 15 turbine, 51MW, expansion will increase the total capacity at Kype Muir to 139MW and turbine population to 41.   ____________________     Energy bills are set to rise for manufacturers in the face of a new government initiative, which promises reliable resources of ... Read more

Automotive News, February 2017

Average car prices have risen by 5.2% since the Brexit vote in June 2016, according to industry research.  The City expects the UK’s Consumer Prices Index (CPI) to reach 1.9% in the year to January. It has risen steadily from -0.1% in October 2015 to 1.6% in December 2016.   It said the price of some larger people-carriers had gone up by as much as 12.3%, although some other luxury cars were actually cheaper. In 2016, 86% of the cars sold in the ... Read more

Rail News, February 2017

The Government has started a hunt for HS2 manufacturer. The £2.75 billion contract will be awarded in 2019 with the winning bidders going on to deliver a brand new fleet of up to 60 trains which will provide services capable of seating more than 1,000 passengers.   The trains will be required to meet HS2's design and performance needs and international standards for passenger experience, noise reduction, and environmental sustainability, while maximising skills, employment and growth opportunities.  The successful bidder will also maintain ... Read more
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