Mayor backs King’s Award company’s growth plans

The boss of a Teesside firm, which has just been recognised with the UK’s top business award, has revealed further expansion plans during a visit by Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke. 

Paralloy has had a meteoric rise since new owners acquired the business less than five years ago.

Revenue has increased three-fold, the workforce has more than doubled to more than 500 and the company has spent millions of pounds on new equipment, infrastructure and Research and Development.   It has also acquired four additional sites at the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Plant (TeesAMP) in Middlesbrough as well as new locations in Billingham and Sheffield.

Earlier this month Paralloy was told that its achievements had been recognised with a King’s Award for Enterprise.

The company, which exports around 90% of its products, is one of only 252 organisations to receive the award this year and just one of 161 in the category for International Trade.

Paralloy designs and produces specialist stainless steel products for a number of sectors: petrochemical, aerospace, blue hydrogen, turbines and defence.  The products are cast in one of three foundries in Billingham and finished, assembled and tested in Middlesbrough.

It is currently working on one of the biggest orders in its 57-year history, producing key components for the new $6 billion Ras Laffan petrochemical complex in Qatar.

Paralloy is providing nearly 400 radiant coils which will be installed inside the seven steam cracking furnaces at the plant.

The coils, which are each 15m long, are being manufactured to withstand temperatures of 1,100 degrees centigrade.  The company was chosen ahead of the two other leading companies in the world with the capability to deliver the contract.

Chief Executive Officer Robert McGowan told the Mayor that even though the order book is full he is still looking to grow the business, but requires more space and more staff.   Paralloy also hopes to boost the amount of its domestic work by benefitting from the green revolution taking place on its doorstep.

Recruitment remains a challenge 

“We plan to tap into the new Hydrogen network being built in Teesside from 2028 and not only use the hydrogen but supply the core reformer tubes that are used to make the Blue hydrogen, thereby creating a truly circular and local footprint,” he said.

Recruitment remains a challenge, though, and Paralloy is looking at a number of ways to expand and develop its workforce.  It has 12 apprentices, collaborates with local colleges and training organisations and plans to create its own skills academy in Billingham.

After visiting Paralloy at TeesAMP the Mayor said: “My congratulations to Paralloy for receiving such a great honour.”  He added: “It’s really good to see such a thriving business continually expanding at a such a rapid rate.  It’s absolutely amazing. There’s stuff being shipped all over the world from here.”

But, he added: “This is clearly a business that has plans to grow but it does need a workforce to back it up and the Combined Authority should be doing all it possibly can to make sure that we have a workforce strategy in place.  I think it really needs to get a grip on that.

“There’s a danger that companies will be held back because we can’t get the people with the skills to take up the jobs and it’s a worry that I keep hearing across various sectors.  It’s definitely something that needs to be addressed with pace.”

Paralloy will receive its King’s Award at a ceremony in July.