Pontypool-based manufacturer Flamgard Calidair has won a contract with the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement.
Flamgard will provide fire and shut off dampers to the Chernobyl site, the world’s largest movable structure designed to facilitate monitoring and demolition of the previous containment building following the 1986 disaster, while securing remaining radioactive material. The €1.5bn multinational engineering project, managed by international contractor Novarka, will be installed in late 2017.
To fulfil the contract, Flamgard required additional finance to issue an advance payment bond, a common challenge for exporters. It was able to secure this through its bank, Lloyds, while a guarantee from UK Export Finance meant there was no requirement for a deposit. Its bespoke fire dampers were developed with the support of Welsh Government R&D grants.
The Welsh Government has provided ongoing innovation support to Flamgard over a number of years including support from the European Regional Development Fund to support the research and development of technically advanced products and for equipment to enable the business to meet the growing global demand for its products.
Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said:
“Flamgard is a highly innovative company with a global reputation for excellence. It is a world leader in the supply of safety critical devices and a great example of the expertise we have within the advanced materials and manufacturing sector in Wales.
“The company is now reaping the benefits of substantial investment in research and development and I am delighted that support from the Welsh Government has helped position Flamgard at the forefront of what is a highly specialised industry sector.”
Flamgard also collaborated with Swansea University under the Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies (ASTUTE) programme that provides Welsh manufacturers access to specialist expertise and state-of-the-art facilities in advanced manufacturing in all eight Welsh Universities and is part funded by ERDF through Welsh Government.
Steve Edwards, Managing Director, Flamgard, said:
“This is a major international contract for Flamgard, which we were able to undertake with the support of UK Export Finance, the Welsh Government and Lloyds Banking Group. The support we received from government and the private sector has helped us to win big in a global marketplace.”
Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister of State at the Department for International Trade/Louis Taylor, CEO, UK Export Finance, welcomed the announcement, saying:
“This success demonstrates that there is a world of opportunity out there for innovative, outward-looking companies like Flamgard. But when the world needs your expertise, you may find you need additional support, and I am delighted that the UK Government, through UK Export Finance, was able to help ensure this very special export happened.”
David Williams, relationship manager for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:
“Flamgard’s innovative technology will have a huge impact on the highly complex Chernobyl project. But first, it needed specialist funding to secure the contract and, working with UKEF, we were able to provide the flexible finance package needed.”