Press release

Welsh firm protects world’s largest moving structure with government support

Contract with Chernobyl New Safe Confinement won with support from UK Export Finance, Welsh Government and Lloyds Banking Group.

The Chernobyl New Safe Containment Site under construction

Pontypool-based manufacturer Flamgard Calidair will provide fire and shut off dampers to the Chernobyl site, the world’s largest movable structure designed to facilitate monitoring and demolition of the previous containment building following the 1986 disaster, while securing remaining radioactive material. The €1.5bn multinational engineering project, managed by international contractor Novarka, will be installed in late 2017.

The move comes as the UK Government looks to promote trade abroad through the Exporting is GREAT campaign, which aims to inspire and encourage more businesses to export.

To fulfil the contract, Flamgard required additional finance to issue an advance payment bond, a common challenge for exporters. It was able to secure this through its bank, Lloyds, while a guarantee from UK Export Finance (UKEF) meant there was no requirement for a deposit.

The Welsh Government has provided ongoing innovation support to Flamgard over a number of years, including funding from the European Regional Development Fund, to support the research and development of technically advanced products and for equipment to enable the business to meet the growing global demand for its products.

Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister of State at the Department for International Trade, welcomed the announcement, saying:

This success demonstrates that there is a world of opportunity out there for innovative, outward-looking companies like Flamgard. But when the world needs your expertise, you may find you need additional support, and I am delighted that the UK Government, through UKEF, was able to help ensure this very special export happened.

Steve Edwards, Managing Director, Flamgard, said:

This is a major international contract for Flamgard, which we were able to undertake with the support of UKEF, the Welsh Government and Lloyds Banking Group. The support we received from government and the private sector has helped us to win big in a global marketplace.

Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said:

Flamgard is a highly innovative company with a global reputation for excellence. It is a world leader in the supply of safety critical devices and a great example of the expertise we have within the advanced materials and manufacturing sector in Wales.

The company is now reaping the benefits of substantial investment in research and development and I am delighted that support from the Welsh Government has helped position Flamgard at the forefront of what is a highly specialised industry sector.

David Williams, relationship manager for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:

Flamgard’s innovative technology will have a huge impact on the highly complex Chernobyl project. But first, it needed specialist funding to secure the contract and, working with UKEF, we were able to provide the flexible finance package needed.

When working on complex deals such as this, it is more crucial than ever that companies have a trusted partner that understands the challenges they face and can deliver tailored solutions to overcome them.

We are committed to ensuring that businesses like Flamgard have that tailored support, which is why we have committed to increasing our net lending to SMEs by £1 billion every year until 2017.

Notes to editors

UK Export Finance

  1. UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency. It exists to ensure that no viable UK export should fail for want of finance or insurance from the private market. It provides finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfil and ensure they get paid for export contracts.

  2. Sectors in which UKEF has supported exports include: aerospace, construction, oil and gas, mining and metals, petrochemicals, telecommunications, and transport.

  3. UKEF has a regional network of 24 export finance advisers supporting export businesses.

  4. UKEF supports exporters with a range of products that include: * Bond insurance policy * Bond support scheme * Buyer & supplier credit financing facility * Direct lending facility * Export insurance policy * Export refinancing facility * Export working capital scheme * Letter of credit guarantee scheme

  5. Find the latest information on UKEF’s country cover positions

Flamgard Calidair

Flamgard Calidair designs and produces specialist dampers for a wide variety of industries. These are safety-critical stainless steel fabrications which sit within the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts of power stations, oil refineries, transport tunnels, submarines and other complex environments, and which automatically snap shut to stop the spread of fire, fumes or blast forces.

Find out more about Flamgard.

Welsh Government innovation support

Innovation support is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Innovation can help businesses become more competitive, increase sales and enter new markets. Innovation support can help businesses to: * invest in research and development (R&D) * introduce new techniques and technologies in design and manufacturing * protect your assets through intellectual property (IP) rights * access facilities and expertise in universities and colleges

For more information on how Welsh Government innovation support can benefit your business call 03000 6 03000 or visit the Welsh Government website

ASTUTE

Flamgard also collaborated with Swansea University through the Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies (ASTUTE) programme which provides Welsh manufacturers access to specialist expertise and state-of-the-art facilities in advanced manufacturing in all Welsh Universities.

The ASTUTE programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking provides comprehensive expert financial services to businesses of all sizes, from start-ups and small businesses to mid-sized businesses and multinational corporations.

Maintaining a network of relationship teams across the UK, as well as internationally, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking delivers the mix of local understanding and global expertise necessary to provide long-term support to its clients.

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking offers a broad range of finance beyond term lending and this spans import and export trade finance, structured and asset finance, securitisation facilities and capital market funding. Its product specialists provide bespoke financial services and solutions, including tailored cash management, international trade, treasury and risk management services.

Support for SMEs

Lloyds Banking Group is committed to helping businesses of all types and sizes, giving them the funding and support they need to grow at home and abroad. We have set out our pledges in our Helping Britain Prosper Plan.

For our 2016 SME Charter we have pledged to support 5,000 first time exporters; grow lending to small businesses; help 100,000 start-up businesses; and support small firms for their next phase of growth. Since the start of 2011, we have grown our net lending to SMEs by 28% whilst the market has contracted by 13%.

Find the latest supporting businesses factsheet on the Lloyds Banking Group website

Media enquiries: Julia Beck, Media Relations Manager

Published 11 October 2016