Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, announced today that it had entered into an agreement with Avalloy, South Africa's first producer of superalloys, and the world’s first new producer for 15 years.
Superalloys are used in aviation, including in aero engines, automotive engineering, oil drilling, the medical industry and a host of other high technology industries.
Rolls-Royce has been working with South Africa on the development of its new superalloy capability for nearly 10 years and, since 2000, has been working with Avalloy to establish the facility at the Pelindaba Industrial Park.
It follows the Group's support for a number of South African industrial initiatives, in particular the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) policy of industrial participation, which was introduced in 1998. This policy aims to stimulate the South African economy and generate employment, black empowerment, and technology and skills transfer through foreign investment and earnings.
Avalloy was also an opportunity for Rolls-Royce to continue to honour its commitments to industrial participation and help strengthen its relationship with South Africa. Production of superalloys represents a major step forward in the government’s beneficiation programme, as the bulk of the minerals used to produce Avalloy’s materials – such as nickel and chrome – are mined by leading South African suppliers, including Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum.
Ralph Murphy, Director of International Affairs at Rolls-Royce, speaking today at the official opening of the Avallloy facility, said the Group was delighted to be sharing in the shared vision of the new facility and also to be able to demonstrate its continued support for industrial participation. In addition, to demonstrate the Group’s commitment to the project, it has taken a 15 per cent shareholding.
"Avalloy represents a partnership between groups who share a vision of contributing to the prosperity of South Africa. We would like to thank the DTI and the South African Government for their vision and commitment to local industry, which made our participation possible," said Mr Murphy.
"Our partnership with Avalloy covers many areas. Rolls-Royce has worked with Avalloy to establish the process, which we also helped audit to meet international standards. In addition, we introduced Avalloy to international suppliers and we will also help find customers.
"Together, we have established the world's best practice in the Avalloy production process and we work with Avalloy by providing access to our expertise."
Avalloy becomes a supplier of superalloys to Rolls-Royce, which uses them in the demanding operating environment that some turbine blades and vanes endure.