A Wearside pump manufacturer aims to grow its bespoke solutions after winning a contract on one of the UK’s biggest engineering projects.
Sunderland-based Grundfos, which forms part of the Denmark-headquartered Grundfos Group, a supplier of pumps and pump solutions which employs 18,000 people around the world, provided an important element for DP World London Gateway, a £1.5bn deep-water port development on the banks of the River Thames.
When fully developed, London Gateway will be one of the UK’s largest ports, operating six berths and a total of 24 quay cranes capable of handling the world’s biggest container ships.
Grundfos secured a deal to provide a £600,000 water pumping station for the site, to prevent flooding. Surface water which drains into a collection chamber is monitored by an ultrasonic controller, and once water hits a certain level it’s pumped away.
Lee Carlin, general manager at Grundfos, said the business, which employs 185 people in Sunderland, plans to build upon the contract by further developing its bespoke operations. He added: “Our pumping station is an important part of the London Gateway project and it was one of several engineer-to-order contracts that helped us create new jobs and safeguard others at Sunderland.
“It’s obviously a bespoke piece of engineering, and moving forward we’re looking to do more of this sort of work in Sunderland, to create fully-integrated solutions for customers as well as continuing to excel at high-volume manufacturing.
“Our strategy is to consolidate and grow our existing business while aggressively pursuing new engineer-to-order contracts.
“We’re looking for 25% growth in this area of our business – it’s a really important part of what we’re doing at Sunderland. We have the right people and skills here to create these added-value packages, systems that create fully-integrated solutions for the growing commercial market in the UK.
“This bespoke area of our business gives us leverage into new markets, particularly in the construction sector. It can also help us sell our Grundfos services company to customers as an added-value option, so it gives us the opportunity for a two-pronged attack.”
The contract win comes shortly ahead of the company filing its annual accounts for the year ended December 2013. Last year the business reported turnover of £97.2m while profits rose from £5.3m to £5.7m.