North East engineering firms get a triple export boost

Returning confidence in the engineering sector has been marked by three separate North East firms


Offshore engineering specialist OGN Group is embarking on its first export contract, which will secure 500 North East jobs, after being appointed by Kvaerner to provide complex equipment for the Shell-operated Nyhamna onshore gas plant project.

Yesterday, the start of the 13-month programme of construction was marked with the first cut of steel at OGN’s Hadrian’s Yard facility, where representatives from the three parties involved celebrated the collaboration.

David Edwards, chief executive of OGN Group, said: “The first cut of steel of any project is always significant, but we are particularly proud of this project as it highlights the latest in a pipeline of work being delivered by OGN Group.

“Our reputation and ability to deliver projects on time and on budget has enabled us to deliver this sustainable approach, which secures employment and supports the North East’s role as a key location for oil & gas industry services.”

He added: “The sector is on the way up. We are very fortunate in that we have about 2,000 people here. There are lots of skills here, but they do need to be replenished with the younger guys coming through and receiving training.”

Meanwhile, a Northumberland engineering firm is driving forward expansion plans through a new funding package.

Osborne Engineering Ltd, based at North Nelson Industrial Estate in Cramlington, manufactures and repairs white-metal bearings together with the supply and repair of fuel systems and training for the gas and oil industry.

The firm’s exports account for more than 60% of production, predominantly to customers in the US and Europe. Now, the firm, which employs more than 100 people across Northumberland, is gearing for growth by opening a new office in Aberdeen to expand its training offering to oil and gas clients.

Justine Beer, finance manager, said: “Having grown significantly in the UK and overseas, we are now ready to launch a new office in Aberdeen and increase our support and training service to the gas and oil industry. A key factor in making this investment is that Barclays provided a sound solution for our current operations, trading capabilities and future ambitions.”

Meanwhile, precision engineering operation Express Engineering has been heralded as one of the UK’s private companies with the fastest growing international sales.

The Team Valley firm is placed 52nd in The Sunday Times International Track 200 league table.


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