A revolutionary new energy project that could be heading to Teesside has started looking for partner firms to work with.

Rolls Royce has already announced it is leading a consortium to build ‘factory-built’ Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power plants that can generate 470MW of low-carbon electricity – enough to power a million homes for at least 60 years.

A shortlist was drawn up in December naming The International Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sunderland, Teesworks on Teesside and Gateway on Deeside as possible sites for the first factory.

It is understood that Teesworks may be top of that list, but no decision has been made.

Now Rolls-Royce SMR has launched a supply chain portal to identify the best UK companies to partner with in delivering the project, through a new portal - suppliers.rolls-royce-smr.com.

David White, Rolls-Royce SMR Chief Operating Officer, said: “Rolls-Royce SMR has set out its clear intention to maximise UK content and help build a supply chain that will support the Government’s plans to develop 24GW of new nuclear power by 2050.

“Through the portal, we want to build new relationships with organisations that have products and services to offer, and we’ll help them understand the requirements for becoming a Rolls-Royce SMR supplier.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We are continuing to work hard to bring Rolls-Royce’s SMR factory to Teesworks as we have the right skills to successfully deliver on this hugely exciting project.

“Teesworks is now established as a great location for innovative net zero projects and this facility, helping to drive forward clean energy power plants, would be a fantastic fit.

“Major low-carbon projects in offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage are taking shape and we’re seeing further interest from investors keen to base themselves here and create more good-quality, well-paid jobs.

“The fact that a household name such as Rolls-Royce is looking at our area is a clear indication of the progress we are making.”

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The project is already making good progress through the independent regulatory Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process to secure consent for their technology to operate in the UK, and Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive of the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK, said: ““It is vital that Government moves without delay to approve this programme which is one piece in the jigsaw of an industrial strategy.”

Rolls-Royce SMR will draw upon standard nuclear energy technology that has been used in 400 reactors around the world.

The Rolls-Royce SMR power station will have the capacity to generate 470MW of low carbon energy, equivalent to more than 150 onshore wind turbines and enough to power a million homes. It will provide consistent baseload generation for at least 60 years.