Cokebusters is an award-winning North Wales company that specialises in mechanical decoking and tube inspection.
The business, which last year exceeded forecast sales of £6 million, has placed international exports at the heart of its growth strategy. In doing so, it has become a world leader in decoking and inspection technology with 95 per cent of its annual turnover coming from outside the UK.
Founded in 2005, the company, which is based in Hawarden in Flintshire, had an international outlook even in its early days. Due to the limited number of refineries in the UK, Cokebusters had to look abroad for clients in order to grow and fund development.
Now, Cokebusters employs 35 local people at its office in Wales and exports to over 20 countries including the USA, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Greece, Kuwait, Italy and Spain, with its skilled engineers travelling to oil refineries all over the world.
Alongside its headquarters in Wales, Cokebusters also has a base in the USA, which was set up as a separate company in 2013 to meet growing demand which had made America a key market. The base in the USA has enabled the firm to expand its international operations and work with a number of American companies.
Thanks to its exporting activities, the firm has seen its sales rise by 41% in the last two years to over £6 million. Its headcount has also grown by 15% in the last 12 months alone as a result of its continued international drive. In the past year, Cokebusters has developed a strong presence in Italy and expanded its presence in the Middle East with an additional unit in the region.
Earlier this year, Cokebusters received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade Category in recognition of its outstanding achievement in international trade, innovation and sustainable development.
So, what’s next for Cokebusters? The business continues to grow and has plans to move into a number of new markets, including the oil rich Middle East, which will play a key role in the company’s International growth strategy.
As part of a Welsh Government initiative, the company recently visited Abu Dhabi to exhibit at the International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) – the world’s largest trade show for the oil and gas sector. Attendance at the show enabled the business to connect with influencers and experts from a range of markets in the region and has led to the firm securing a £7.5m deal in Abu Dhabi. The move is another overseas success for the company, which this year has also renewed its contracts with two major oil companies in Europe.
This year, the company expects to exceed its sales target of £7.5 million by at least ten to fifteen per cent by developing its export business.
Duncan Cully, Commercial Manager at Cokebusters said:
“Having such a high proportion of international clients has driven Cokebusters to excellence. Many of our clients initially approached us with a degree of scepticism as we were the ‘outsiders’. Because of this, we had to be better than our competitors, to develop innovative solutions and exceed our clients’ expectations.
“At the same time, it’s important to us that Cokebusters hangs on to its heritage. Wales is a world leader in engineering and creativity and as a nation we should project ourselves globally and showcase these strengths.
“Our team at Cokebusters has a wealth of industrial experience, meaning that we can develop innovative technologies which enable us to best serve our clients. Cokebusters is now the only company in the world to offer a high-performance combined service of expert decoking and tube inspection, delivered with time and cost efficiency.”