UK alloy business reaches export high

A manufacturer of specialist high alloy steels – based in the North-East of England – is one of the first UK businesses to receive support from a multi-million pound government fund to boost exports.

Paralloy Ltd provides customers with a start to finish service: taking in raw materials at its foundries in Billingham and providing fully finished precision machined tubes, components, sub-assemblies and full fabrications from its operations in nearby Middlesbrough and Sheffield in South Yorkshire.

As well as supplying many of the world’s most popular nickel and stainless corrosion resistant alloys in their various forms, Paralloy also develops and patents its own market leading alloys for specialist applications including Blue Hydrogen and low coking Ethylene.

Paralloy’s Chief Executive Robert McGowan led a management buyout less than two years ago – backed by the private equity firm Nimbus – and since then sales have more than doubled to GBP60m and the workforce has increased by 100 to 350.  The business exports 95% of what it makes to 70 overseas markets.

This success has been recognised by the UK government which, through its agency UK Export Finance (UKEF), has provided a General Export Facility which supports a GBP15m funding package from Santander UK.  This is used to issue Bank Guarantees to customers, a key customer requirement, without which large contracts cannot be won.

The UK Minister for Exports Mike Freer MP said only a handful of companies in the world matched Paralloy’s capabilities.  “It is a key supplier to the blue hydrogen market, which produces virtually no greenhouse gas emissions when combined with carbon capture technologies and is much in demand as firms across the world transition towards a low carbon economy.”

Robert McGowan of Paralloy said: “This support has enabled us to future-proof the business through increased investment in capacity to grow the business.  It allowed us to open a third factory at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Teesside this year and provided the working capital to fulfil bigger export contracts.