‘Not a single issue!’ Rolls-Royce backs Brexit as it’s poised for £3.7bn post-Covid boom

Rolls-Royce Chief discusses target for Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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Few companies were harder hit by the pandemic than British multinational aerospace and defence company. When the airlines stopped flying, Rolls-Royce’s revenues collapsed, and with them the company’s share price – which slashed almost 90 percent. But it appears to have pulled off a stunning turnaround. In October, its share price recorded the best month in almost a year and a flurry of lucrative deals has seen a faster than expected recovery in the sector. And the company is ready to go further.

Paul Stein, Chief Technology Officer at Rolls-Royce exclusively told Express.co.uk: “In terms of the supply chain, partly because of Covid, we have about £3.7billion worth of inventory on our books, so we haven’t had any supply chain issues.

“Most of the questions that we’ve had have focused on Brexit and if there has there been a negative impact – the answer is no, there hasn’t.”

And as companies around the world continue to struggle with supply chain issues after Covid, Rolls-Royce is now sitting in a unique position.

Mr Stein added: “Our vision is that pre-Covid, Rolls Royce was responsible for one in every 50 pounds of all UK goods exported.

“Our plan is that Rolls-Royce becomes a successful and growing company, building back a broader company than we had before Covid and before the race to net zero.”

There are three new projects that the company hopes to achieve this with.

These include a focus on creating engines that can run on sustainable fuel, a deal they’re working on with the MOD and their Small Modular Reactor programme (SMR).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has committed £215 million to the SMR programme that will see a series of small nuclear reactors help him achieve his net zero goals.

Mr Stein explained: “SMRs are designed to be an investable proposition from the outset and with a significantly lower capital cost than conventional large scale new nuclear, they do not require new financing models to be deployed

“They probably the lowest cost way to achieve net zero power to power our homes, industries and other parts of the economy.

“Nuclear is absolutely vital. Small modular reactors are complete innovation in the way you can strut the nuclear power stations.”

Mr Stein said this innovation from Rolls-Royce could revitalise the UK economy.

He told Express.co.uk: “There’s big export potential for the UK and we see it as a significant contribution not only to net zero but also a revival to the UK economy.”

“The export opportunity for the total market is £250 billion, and we are upbeat about the UK’s role in taking a big share of that total market.”

The first SMR is expected to join the UK grid by 2031.

Rolls-Royce is leading the way in becoming a net zero company, with plans to decarbonise the aviation industry.

And while there is the notion that economic growth and tackling climate change head-on can be a tough combination, Rolls-Royce are championing technologies that can bring about both of those aims.

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Mr Stein said: “We are a broadly based power systems company and we have had a history of creating engines that create fossil fuels.

“As our commitments to reach net zero by 2050 as a business, we are pivoting our company in two ways.

“Firstly, we are making sure that all our existing products that we make that we know are going to be part of the future are net zero compatible.

“And we’re creating new business directions on the back of net zero and fuel efficiency so our whole company is moving to be a net zero company.”

This will no doubt please Mr Johnson as he heads in to cop26 next week to host climate discussions in Glasgow between world leaders.

He will be eager to showcase innovative companies pushing the green agenda like Rolls Royce.

This also comes after Rishi Sunak announced the Autumn Budget on Wednesday, saying that the Government will target to maintain R&D investment to £22billion.

The Chancellor said: “In order to get there, we will reach the target in 2026/2027. Spending by the end of this Parliament £20billion a year on research and development (R&D).

“That’s a cash increase of 50 percent – the fastest increase ever.

“Combined with that the total public investment is increasing from 0.7 percent of GDP to 1.1 percent by the end of Parliament.

“This unprecedented funding will increase core science spending to £5.9billion a year by 2024/25.”

This is important for Rolls Royce, who have called for close partnerships between Government and industry, and have a good relationship with the Government themselves.

Mr Stein said: “There’s no question from our company perspective that we applaud the initiative by the Government to get the gross level that we spend up on R&D.”

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