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Rolls-Royce in talks with INEOS to build small modular reactor at Grangemouth refinery

29 November 2022

Rolls-Royce and INEOS have started talks on implementing small modular reactor (SMR) technology at the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland to supply planned hydrogen systems with low-carbon electricity. The Times newspaper reports that talks are in the early stages and that no commercial negotiations have taken place.

Raymond Okonski / INEOS (Grangemouth) Oil Refinery / CC BY-SA 2.0
Raymond Okonski / INEOS (Grangemouth) Oil Refinery / CC BY-SA 2.0

It is thought that Rolls-Royce’s SMR technology could help the chemicals giant to decarbonise its facilities in Grangemouth which INEOS is planning to power using hydrogen.

In early November, Rolls-Royce SMR announced it had identified four potential sites for deploying its power stations, which could deliver a total of 15GW of new low-carbon power. All four locations are current nuclear sites owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which supported the siting assessment review. The talks with INEOS could lead to Rolls-Royce gaining an early customer for its low carbon technology which the company envisions to be its main source of revenue in years to come.

Neither INEOS nor Rolls-Royce have commented on the reports of talks, with The Times reporting that discussions have so far focused on how the technology works rather than any commercial negotiations.

Rolls-Royce SMR has so far identified Trawsfynydd in North Wales, land neighbouring the Sellafield site in Cumbria, Wylfa on Anglesey, and Oldbury in Gloucestershire as potential sites for SMRs. The company said the identification of the four sites is the first phase in a programme of work which is considering siting, collaboration opportunities and the socio-economic benefits of deploying Rolls-Royce SMR units on land within the NDA estate. Other locations across the UK are also being evaluated.

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