It took a year and lots of money, but finally Forgemasters has won permission to sell pressure vessels to the Chinese – creating a potential multi-million pound revenue stream.
The heavy engineering specialist has been granted the top level of accreditation, opening the door to the country’s burgeoning petrochemical industries.
Without A1 rating, China remains closed to foreign manufacturers. Pressure vessels are storage tanks designed to hold liquids at high pressure.
David Bunney, senior sales manager for forgings at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “We have invested heavily in new equipment to be able to capitalise on the A1 certification and had to undergo a stringent systems and processes audit to qualify.
“Securing this accreditation offers significant opportunities for Forgemasters to build on more than 30 years’ trading with China.
“We have many years of experience of manufacturing complete pressure vessels and pressure vessel components for global markets and we see the China market as being particularly strong.
“We are also providing project leadership so that other UK based companies will also be able to supply components or products for the wider project scope.”
The Brightside Lane company has been granted a four-year licence by the China Special Equipment Inspection and Research Institute, after a year-long application procedure.
Forgemasters has also recently gained permission to fabricate safety-critical cast and forged components for nuclear power stations, opening up the civil nuclear power market internationally.
The 800-strong company, led by chief executive Graham Honeyman, is believed to be Sheffield’s largest private employer. It has a capacity for castings of up to 350 tonnes and forgings of up to 170 tonnes finished weight.
It is also the world’s leading supplier of castings to the offshore sector and has designed and manufactured more than 46,000 tonnes of components.