MORE than 200 jobs will be created and another 200 safeguarded after a company in the North East secured £200m in orders for new green technology.
Engineering firm GT, which based in Peterlee, County Durham, said it had orders for the next five years for its engine emissions control systems.
The firm said its technology would improve the cleanliness of engines. It was expected to be fitted to trucks, tractors, marine and construction equipment.
The jobs boost has come after regional development agency One North East agreed a grant of £2m over the next three years in support of GT’s £10m investment programmes.
Group chairman Geoff Turnbull said: "With the EU and international governments imposing tough regulations on transport emissions, vehicle manufacturers around the world are sourcing new technologies to deliver improved vehicle performance and environmental sustainability.
"We have now achieved a massive £200m of forward sales for these products after years of sustained investment in research and development.
"The major investment programme that we are about to undertake would have been very difficult without the assistance of One North East and Durham County Council, both of which have shown a real commitment to ensuring our business has the support it requires to be a pioneer in this important technology."
The company expects to nearly treble its £18m turnover after seeing orders for its specialist valves soar as manufacturers look to comply with European limits on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from large vehicles.
The technology, which is patented by the company, has been developed for engines between four and 16 litres and uses an exhaust-gas recirculating system that reduces emissions by burning off harmful hydrocarbons before they reach the atmosphere.
The company, which was set up in 1973 as a sub-contract engineer, is also investing £10m into the business over the next three years, with much of it funding a tie-up with the University of Leeds to research and develop a new range of green technologies.
The growth comes after the company saw its turnover dip from £21m as the recession hit the worldwide vehicle manufacturing industry. The firm exports 95% of its output, with products shipped to over 60 countries around the world.
The expansion has also been supported by a move into larger premises, with a switch from a 40,000sq ft factory in the North East Industrial Estate, Peterlee, to its new 50,000sq ft site in Whitehouse Business Park last year.
Ian Williams, director of business and industry at One North East, said: "One North East is proud to work with firms like the GT Group to bring new jobs to life in this crucial low carbon sector.
"The group is investing in exactly the right research and development that will enable the North East to exploit new opportunities in the emerging markets for products designed to tackle the challenges of climate change."