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Orbex occupies second building at Forres Enterprise Park


By Garry McCartney

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Orbex at 5 Innovation Way.
Orbex at 5 Innovation Way.

A SPACE satellite launch vehicle manufacturer has expanded into a second building in Forres.

Orbex, which owns an adjacent property, has leased the purpose-built 929 square metre manufacturing facility at 5 Innovation Way at Forres Enterprise Park owned by park developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

HIE’s area manager, Stuart Black, said: "We’re delighted to welcome Orbex into this second building on the park and look forward to continuing to work with them as they help develop the wider space sector in the Highlands and Islands.

"The Orbex Prime project has already led to the creation of around 100, highly skilled jobs, with the majority of them based in Moray, and we expect to see many more as the company continues to grow."

The Orbex Prime is a new low-carbon launch vehicle that will transport small satellites into Earth orbit from Space Hub Sutherland, the launch site that HIE is developing near Tongue on the A' Mhoine peninsula.

The rocket is poised to become one of the most environmentally friendly orbital launch vehicles ever built, benefitting from the use of renewable, ultra-low-carbon biofuel. It is also designed to be re-usable and to not leave any debris.

With the continued growth of Orbex, additional space is needed for an expanding workforce and new equipment. The second building’s large double-height workshop will be used as a launch vehicle integration facility, with the first vehicle already being constructed on site.

Built in 2014 and designed by Inverness-based Threesixty Architecture, the second building offers a combination of office space and workshop. It has solar panels and air-sourced heat pumps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, aligning with Orbex’s commitment to sustainability.

Chief executive officer at Orbex, Chris Larmour, said: "This new facility will allow us to accelerate our plans to build one of the world's most advanced, low-carbon rockets, enabling us to place a new generation of small satellites into orbit.

"Today's news demonstrates our commitment to expanding our operations at Forres, bringing economic opportunities to the local area and putting Forres at the heart of one of the most exciting and innovative industries in the world."



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