Engineering firm celebrates launch of new US manufacturing subsidiary
A Westcountry engineering company has launched a new manufacturing plant in the United States.
Newton Abbot-based Centek has invested an undisclosed sum to open the manufacturing subsidiary which is in Oklahoma City.
The South Devon firm, which has 110 UK staff, is the leading European manufacturer of centralisers, which are used by the oil industry in the drilling process.
The plant was officially opened on September 25 by Mary Fallin, the Governor of Oklahoma at a launch attended by industry experts.
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Around 50 people have been employed at the plant, with numbers expected to increase by an additional 20 to 30 staff within the next year.
It will be operated in partnership with Halliburton, one of the world's largest suppliers to the energy industry with more than 70,000 employees in approximately 80 countries.
The new 80,000 sq ft facility is described as fully self-sufficient in all aspects of centraliser manufacture, with its own heat treatment and laser-cutting equipment.
A "mirror image" of the Devon plant, it will supply clients in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Centek's group managing director Tony Cutmore said: "Two years ago we decided to build a second manufacturing base, and after doing some research we decided upon Oklahoma City. There are more drilling rigs in the US than anywhere in the world excluding China.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Centek as for the first time we will be manufacturing centralisers in America as Centek Inc. and distributing throughout North America.
"While Centek has had a US distribution centre in Houston since 2010, a US manufacturing base allows us to open up new markets and focus on those areas where we have experience. It gives us the opportunity to increase sales in the Gulf region and also in Mexico and Canada."
The company says that US manufacturing will allow them to maintain a local stock of products, reducing dependence on a single source of supply, meeting customers' needs.
Mr Cutmore, who established Centek in 2001, added: "We are excited about the partnership with Halliburton. They are another highly successful company, and have the advantage of having bases in many different countries.
"You need to be able to keep ahead of the game. We are working together to plan the first expansion of the site, whilst looking to continue selling in China and other places around the world."
Looking ahead, Centek anticipates posting a 63 per cent increase on its 2011 sales later this month, following a 58 per cent year-on-year increase last year.
Last month, it was ranked at 89 in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 listing the UK's top technology companies – the only Westcountry firm to feature.