Flamgard Calidair, a Welsh manufacturing firm whose products have been used in flagship projects all over the world, is reaping the rewards of its export strategy with record breaking sales. 

Flamgard is now projecting record-breaking turnover for 2021 and has its sights set on doubling this by 2025 by further growing its global client base.

Pontypool-based Flamgard Calidair, which employs 68 people, is a world leading designer and manufacturer of fire and blast protection and 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.

Established in 1981, the company originally enjoyed plenty of domestic success, but it wasn’t until the mid-80s that Flamgard began trading overseas. Its export journey began after it impressed a number of multinational companies that it had been working with on UK-based projects in the North Sea, leading to them choosing to use Flamgard for their subsequent international projects. Flamgard’s export arm has continued to grow ever since.  

Three-quarters of sales from overseas 

Today, international sales make up around 75 per cent of Flamgard’s trade with the company currently exporting 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 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.

Closer to home, Flamgard is currently working on the UK’s 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 schemes for Flamgard, who also played a key role in the long-term operation to make the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster safe, providing fire and shut off dampers for the New Safe Confinement dome at the site. The company also supplied products for the ambitious Riyadh metro system in Saudi Arabia, which is due for completion next year.

Exports crucial to resilience

As well as helping to grow the business over the last two decades, Flamgard sees exports as being crucial to its resilience during challenging times, helping it to diversify its markets.

Flamgard credits much of the success it has experienced overseas to support from Welsh Government. The company has attended multiple international trade missions and exhibitions organised by Welsh Government, including visits to Abu Dhabi, Texas, Tokyo and Paris, which have enabled it to connect with companies in those regions and ultimately secure a number of contracts including work with Siemens and EDF.  The business has also received support to conduct market research to identify potential business opportunities abroad, as well as funding to assist with research and development.

Flamgard is now looking to place a further drive on exports as part of its growth strategy. It aims to double its turnover by 2025 and sees exporting as the route to achieving this goal.

Shuresh Maran, Business Development Manager, said: “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, enabling us to attend invaluable trade missions that we would not otherwise have been able to attend ourselves due to limited travel budgets. They have also assisted us with crucial market research to understand what sectors and regions we could potentially work with, while funding assistance has helped us with R&D to enable us to innovate and meet project requirements. 

“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.”

For more information on Flamgard Calidair, visit: https://flamgard.co.uk/ 

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