Copperchase Ltd, the Cramlington-based manufacturer, has secured a $6m contract with Hyundai Engineering and Construction to construct a new security fence for an oil refinery in Southern Iraq.
The firm used a £200,000 loan from the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund, which is managed by FW Capital, to secure the performance bond it needed, from Lloyds Banking Group. Copperchase has already worked with large engineering and construction companies in the Middle East, United Arab Emirates and South Korea and hopes this latest contract will open the door to further contracts in the region over the next five years.
Director Paul Boydell said: “We were pleased to win the Karbala refinery contract which will hopefully lead to even more work in the region. We’ve won a number of significant projects in recent years, but this is our largest to date and the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund loan was vital in helping us to fund the performance bond we needed.
“We believe this contract will really showcase our technical and project management capabilities and be the springboard we need to win even larger contracts in future.”
The Tees Valley Catalyst Fund was conceived by Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU), the Local Enterprise Partnership for the Tees Valley to provide companies in Tees Valley with finance.
Last October access to the fund was widened to businesses across the North East and in parts of North Yorkshire.
Originally specialising in air traffic control systems, Copperchase became prominent in the niche Air Traffic Control sector before diversifying to take advantage of new opportunities in emerging markets.
FW Capital investment executive, Chris Johnson worked with Copperchase to provide the short-term loan. He said: “Copperchase has really expanded its overseas presence since it was first established in 1990. In recent years, the team has set up the company’s Middle-East offices to take advantage of opportunities in emerging markets like Iraq.
“We’re delighted to provide them with the financial backing needed to deliver this contract. Copperchase has a great deal of experience with large global engineering and construction companies and is an excellent example of a North East company making its mark on the world map. This contract has the potential to boost Copperchase’s prospects significantly.”