Port Talbot, Wales, GB, September 25, 2014 – Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies hosted a Grand Opening ceremony Thursday, 18 September, at its new facility in Port Talbot, Wales. The new facility was opened by Edwina Hart, Minister of Economy, Science and Transport, and Dr. Mohsen Sohi, Speaker of the Management Board, Freudenberg & Company.
Over the next few years, the Freudenberg Group will invest £11m in the Port Talbot operation. The first phase of the project, which was celebrated with the opening of the new facility, was the consolidation of the three original Vector Technology Group sites in Wales into one. The Vector business was acquired by Freudenberg in January 2013, and a search for a new facility was started soon after. This move benefits the business with greater operational efficiencies, a significant investment in new CNC machining capabilities, and additional testing and R&D capabilities.
Backed by a £3m business financing grant from the Welsh Government, the project retains the operations in the area, and creates an additional 60 positions. The total number of staff will rise from 237 to 297 as a result of the investment, and now physically occupies 116,000 sq. ft.
The Minister said, “Freudenberg’s facility in Port Talbot is very impressive and is testament to the company’s commitment to, and investment in, the area and the workforce’s skills and dedication. I am delighted Welsh Government support has enabled the company to develop the facility and increase the workforce to nearly 300 employees. It is a signal of the company’s long term commitment to Port Talbot and its faith in Wales as a great place to do business.”
Dr. Mohsen Sohi recognized the commitment of the local workforce that made investment in the Port Talbot area so attractive. “The addition of the Vector business and its products demonstrates Freudenberg’s commitment to invest and grow its oil and gas business and acquire leading technology companies focused on the upstream oil and gas business.”
Dr. Sohi continued, “The Vector business was established under a commitment to quality, excellence, and innovation – traditions long honored by Freudenberg, as recognized in our own Guiding Principles. By reinvesting in a location with such an established culture of manufacturing and innovation the company shows our plans for the future growth of this business.”
Richard T. Schmidt, President and CEO of Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies said, “This investment in Wales will enable the business to grow, remain competitive and become more efficient. It marks our company’s long-term commitment in Wales. Having the additional financial commitment from the Welsh Government was extremely important and highlights its continued support to major industries in the area.”
The demand for products engineered and manufactured by Vector Technology Group has increased in recent years beyond the capacity of the original footprint, which had already grown to occupy three separate sites across the Baglan Industrial Estate.
Working with the Welsh Government, Freudenberg made the commitment to invest and expand in the area, taking over a vacant factory also on the Baglan Industrial Estate.
The Vector Product line of Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies is major single source supplier of high integrity sealing solutions for the most demanding industrial applications, including: offshore platforms, FPSOs, flowlines and subsea installations. The main Vector Products are the ROV-operated OPTIMA Subsea Connector, the SPO Compact Flange and the TECHLOK Clamp Connector. The high level of technical expertise, broad industry knowledge and problem solving capabilities of the Vector Products line have earned industry-wide recognition, helping to build close working relationships with customers whilst delivering high quality products and customized solutions on-time.
Vector OPTIMA®, Vector SPO® and Vector TECHLOK are registered Trademarks of Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies