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Welsh Manufacturer Sets Sights on International Growth

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A Welsh manufacturing firm whose products have been used in major international projects including the New Safe Confinement dome at Chernobyl and the Riyadh metro system in Saudi Arabia, is reaping the rewards of its export strategy with record breaking sales.

Pontypool-based Flamgard Calidair is a world leader in the design and manufacture of fire and blast protection utilised in ventilation systems for the nuclear, tunnel and oil and gas industries. The company’s products are used to ensure the containment of smoke, fire, toxic gases and blast waves in accidental conditions via the ventilation system.

Following growing success overseas, Flamgard is now projecting record breaking turnover for 2021, which it aims to double by 2025 by expanding its international portfolio of clients and penetrating new sectors within established geographical areas.

The company’s export journey began thirty years ago after working with a number of multinational businesses on UK-based projects in the North Sea. Impressed with Flamgard’s products and expertise, the international firms opted to continue using Flamgard for their subsequent projects overseas and Flamgard’s export ambitions have continued to grow ever since.

Exports have increased steadily over the last five years and now account for around 75 per cent of Flamgard’s trade. The company plans to further build and expand its global pipeline as catalyst for future growth going forward.

Today, Flamgard exports its products to more than 10 countries across the EU, Australia, US, South America and South East Asia. The company boasts contracts with leading industry names including EDF, Chevron, Exxon mobile, Shell, BP, Siemens and Rolls Royce.

Most recently, the company has provided fire dampers to BP for its Greater Tortue Ahmeyium offshore development located in North Africa. Flamgard is also working with Golden Pass LNG, supplying blast dampers to its site in Texas.

And closer to home Flamgard is currently playing a key in role in the UK’s £22.5 bn flagship Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset where it is responsible for designing and testing next generation safety critical ventilation dampers.

The company has also recently signed contracts with Thames Tideway to work on the £4.1bn super sewer project in Central London.

The new projects are the latest in a string of high-profile projects for Flamgard who notably, played a key role in the long-term operation to make the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site safe. The company was responsible for developing innovative fire and shut off dampers for the New Safe Confinement – a huge domed structure sitting over the top of Reactor 4 and associated buildings, which is designed to reduce harmful radiation emissions from the area and provide a safer more controlled environment for decommissioning works to take place.

Flamgard credits an international outlook as key to its growth over the last two decades as well as its resilience during challenging times.

Shuresh Maran, Business Development Manager, said:

“Since Flamgard began working with its first international clients 20 years ago, exporting has been at the forefront of our business. Exporting has provided us with exponential opportunities for growth and has helped us to remain resilient during difficult economic times.

“By exporting to multiple locations, with a good geographical and sectoral spread, we have ensured that we are not wholly dependent on just one marketplace. This has been crucial in ensuring our resilience throughout challenges to the oil and gas sector, as well as during the pandemic.

“Support from Welsh Government has been vital in our international expansion and I would urge any company who is thinking about exporting to get in touch with them. They have a wealth of expert export advisors who can help get your company and products onto the global stage.”