Derbyshire business seals deal in Qatar

A business that saves companies millions of pounds by fixing leaks, has announced a joint venture with a Qatar company, with help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

The agreement between Clay Cross-based business Seal Team Systems Ltd and Qatar-based Apollo Industries, is set to boost profits for the Derbyshire firm, and lead to increased staff.

The company acts as an emergency response unit, fixing ‘live’ leaks in chemical and steam-based industries. This venture will be their first significant foray overseas.

Ken Black, Technical Director, said:

“Like the UK, much of the world is still very much powered by steam – from hospitals to food factories to power stations, many functions are still driven by the steam produced to drive turbines and create electricity. And when a leak springs, there is a need to fix the leak ‘live’ so the business can continue to operate. For many businesses, shutting down to fix leaks is not an option.”

The business, established in 2005 by Andy Mills, Managing Director, and partner Ken, manufacture everything themselves in the UK – from the specialist compound that is injected to stop the leak, to the injection valves, clamps and enclosures.

They began receiving enquiries from overseas by email and because they hadn’t exported before they contacted UKTI. The advice and support proved vital when they received a call from a company in Qatar who were keen to join up.

Ken said:

“Apollo Industries were keen to see if we would be interested in working with them and training their employees in our trade. They were not happy with their existing service and wanted to work with a British company; the British brand continues to carry a lot of weight overseas working as a quality mark.

“Following several meetings, both here and in Qatar, we signed an agreement to work together and are set to start training their employees in leak sealing within the next few months.

“It’s difficult to say what profits we expect at the moment, but with huge oil and gas businesses across Qatar and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa the opportunities are immense – and we have already had a further genuine enquiry from Dubai.”

Ken has found the help from UKTI invaluable.

He said:

“I have worked closely with adviser Michael Hope. He is always at the end of the phone to offer advice when I need him. Working with a UKTI adviser means you get to meet vital contacts that you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to meet. Plus we get matched-funding from the Gateway to Global Growth programme for flights from UKTI.”

Ken will be attending the International Petroleum Technology Conference in Qatar with Apollo where they hope to secure further leads.

Michael Hope, International Trade Adviser for UKTI East Midlands said:

“Overseas opportunities are rife for skilled and successful firms like Seal Team Systems. And by taking their product and skills overseas they will begin to see the associated benefits of exporting – from increased profits to further expansion – with enquiries from other countries already coming in.”

To get help to export call UKTI on 0845 052 4001.

Fast facts

Company name: Seal Team Systems

Sector: Construction, Manufacturing

Location: Derbyshire

UKTI services used: Gateway to Global Growth

Currently exporting to: Qatar

Countries: East Midlands
Topics: Business Development
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