Sheffield firm ‘banking’ on export deals

Sheffield firm Torres Engineering & Pumps Ltd has produced cooler units for a Canadian company. Pictured is apprentice Jake Griffiths with one.
Sheffield firm Torres Engineering & Pumps Ltd has produced cooler units for a Canadian company. Pictured is apprentice Jake Griffiths with one.
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If only more banks were this helpful to potential exporters in Sheffield.

That’s the opinion of businessman Ken Torres, of Torres Pumps, after shipping items to a Canadian oilfield equipment company in a deal made possible by HSBC.

The Sheffield branch organised a week of factory visits and a dinner for a small group of oilmen from Alberta who came over for the Global Manufacturing Festival in July.

Now, a consignment of Torres cooler units has just been despatched to Garrett Cupples, president of GenTex Oilfield Manufacturing in Red Deer, Alberta.

Ken said he had given Garrett exclusive North American sales rights and hoped they could build up to more than 100 a year.

He added: “If Garrett hadn’t come here he would never have known what we do. He actually came to Sheffield looking for pumps but saw a cooler unit during a tour of our factory.

“I was impressed by how HSBC conducted themselves. It didn’t cost me a penny, the Canadians came to me and I got a contact out of it.

The veteran businessman added: “It was a first for me. The research that went into it and the small number of targeted visits during that week paid off.

“This sort of thing should be happening a lot more. There’s so much more the banks could do to bring together companies active in the same field. And what is our Government doing to encourage banks to help clients export?”

Ahead of the July visit, HSBC contacted Creative Sheffield – the council’s business department – which sent out the Made In Sheffield book listing all the companies holding the world-famous quality mark.

A schedule was drawn up, including tours of Optima, Tinsley Bridge, Baldwin & Francis, Geo. Robson, Abbey Forged Products and AESSEAL. They also met bosses from Torres Pumps, MTL Group and Footprint Tools at a small dinner in their honour.

Ken said the new business would benefit several Sheffield companies.

“Although we are small firm of 25 people, where humanly possible we buy goods and services locally. All the fabrication and pipes on the units is done by local firms.”

Alberta is home of the world’s second largest petroleum reserves, after Saudi Arabia, and huge growth is predicted.

In July, Garett Cupples said: “I was impressed by how many of the facilities were so well run and were spotless – yet some of the businesses are older than Canada.”

The visit also involved BDO accountants and Matt Cornall, of Access Prosperity: Central Alberta.