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Brazil export order opens for Leeds tech business

A £160,000 contract to provide two motor control centres  (MCCs) for vessels used in the oil industry off Brazil has been won by specialist manufacturer, Saftronics Limited, which is already in discussions for providing two more.

The Brazilian customer has a 12-strong fleet of floating production storage and offloading vessels (FPSO) that need fitting with the new MCCs which could lead to a total £1.9m order for Leeds-based Saftronics which is marking its 40 anniversary this year.

MCCs, often used in industrial and large commercial buildings, are an assembly to control separate electric motors from a central location such as a machine room. FPSOs are widely used in the global oil and gas sector, to moor near off-shore drilling rigs so that the oil tankers do not have to sail too close while loading.

Saftronics’ client, which is active in sectors including petrochemicals, oil, natural gas, electricity, chemical-gas and biofuel, required a specialist approach to exporting the MCCs, which Saftronics secured through overseas trade specialist, Chamber International, which provided help, advice and in-house training.

Saftronics head of sales and marketing, Paul Stead, says:  The client approached us after a recommendation as we have other MCCs in operations in FPSOs off Brazil. We are very pleased to have secured the sales for the first two FPSOs but the chance of the repeat business gives the contract real importance.

“Since the downturn in the oil and gas sector, our export market has suffered, and, while we have successfully concentrated our sales efforts into the UK, this latest success in Brazil proves we can still win top-quality business worldwide.

“From our initial meeting, Chamber International fully understood and advised on our specialist requirements. Its professional support and continued contact has given us confidence that we should not be apprehensive about exporting.”

Saftronics, which designs and manufactures motor control centers, low voltage switchgear and control panels, handles large and small projects and is active in sectors including chemicals, oil and gas, minerals, aggregates, cement and many others.

The company, which operates out of a 2,400m2 purpose-built manufacturing facility in Leeds with 110 staff and an annual turnover of around £8m, signed a franchise agreement to build Siemens Sivacon motor control and distribution centres in 2004.

Saftronics exports worldwide with a partner company in the USA but current exports are below five per cent of sales and the business plans to explore more overseas markets in the next three years.

Chamber International director: “Chamber International director, Tim Bailey says: “Saftronics is another example of a Yorkshire-based, world-class specialist manufacturer that is setting a fabulous example to other businesses who consider exporting to be too great a challenge”

Chamber International helps hundreds of new and experienced exporters throughout the UK with a wide range of specialist services to make exporting easier and more cost effective.          

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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