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Chinese deal is a boost for Norwich company

PUBLISHED: 15:30 12 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:20 04 November 2019

The Tyco engineering business at Bowthorpe. From left: Ian Birks, Andy Mansbridge and Martin Pettigrew.  Photo: Bill Smith

The Tyco engineering business at Bowthorpe. From left: Ian Birks, Andy Mansbridge and Martin Pettigrew. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

A Norwich-based engineering firm is celebrating a landmark £5m deal with a Chinese energy company which is equal to a third of its turnover.

The Tyco engineering business at Bowthorpe.  Photo: Bill SmithThe Tyco engineering business at Bowthorpe. Photo: Bill Smith

Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions secured the deal with Cosco which will see it supply hydraulic chemical injection equipment for a floating production, storage and offloading vessel off the Western Isles of Shetland.

The contract is the first time the firm, which is a division of a US conglomerate, has won business with China. And in the last week it has also secured a separate £1.3m deal with Norwegian firm Statoil and carried out work for BP and British Gas.

It will design and assemble the 60,000 litre storage system, while most of the fabrication is expected to take place with partner companies in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

The firm employs around 100 staff at its base in Barnard Road, Bowthorpe, and has enjoyed year on year growth of about 15pc.

The Tyco engineering business at Bowthorpe.  Photo: Bill SmithThe Tyco engineering business at Bowthorpe. Photo: Bill Smith

Ian Birks, general manager, said the deals justified a £2m invesment programme by the firm's owners to move to a bigger premises at the former Bennetts warehouse, which has allowed the business to compete for larger contracts.

"It's a very large order for us and is great news for a UK engineering company in the middle of Norwich," he said. "It's a third of our turnover for the year, so it's a big chunk.

"We do the design and engineering and some of the manufacturing, though we use local businesses in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft for 75pc of our fabrication work

"We've been in Norwich for 19 years and recently moved here from nearby Jarrold Way. Our new facility is about four times the size of our old building. We've had investment in our building, and our previous building really couldn't support the size orders we are looking at now.

"Once we supply the systems there is also the servicing and maintenance work as well."

He added: "As we look at our growth figures we have targeted more overseas work as well."

Andy Mansbridge, the firm's business development manager, said: "We are growing year-on-year. There's a buoyancy within oil and gas without a shadow of a doubt and we have had massive growth in the last two years. That's not just on the North Sea side, but it's worldwide.

"We have sold equipment to Brazil, Russia, and Algeria."

Martin Pettigrew, engineering manager, said the firm was keen to raise its profile locally and dispel the image that most oil and gas work was carried out by firms in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

He added: "If we can we want to put a lot of work into East Anglia. That's good for the local economy and easier for us as most of the equipment we buy is UK made."


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