Kuwait connection pays off for Wrexham Mineral Cables

A  Wrexham  manufacturing company is reaping the rewards of building up its business in the Middle East as it ships out two new orders bound for Kuwait this week.

Wrexham Mineral Cables (WMC) is the only company in the UK making highly specialist mineral insulated cables that can withstand more than 1000 degrees C which are in demand by the petro-chemical industry. WMC is the only BASEC approved mineral insulated cable manufacturer in the world.

They provide circuit integrity for power and control circuits of critical equipment used in power stations, foundries, mines, the petrochemical industry as well as public buildings like schools, hospitals, hotels and transport hubs.

This week the company is despatching a £250,000 order for fire survival power cables for a $430million new oil pumping station in Kuwait, plus a separate £90,000 order from another oil company for a new booster station.

The news coincides with the latest regional export results from HM Revenue & Customs that show the value of exports for Wales for the four quarters up to and including 2011 quarter 3 increased by £2,420 million compared to the previous four quarters.

Wales had the highest growth rate of the UK countries in both imports and exports over the same period.

Divisional manager Phil Thomas said the company was now quoting for work in the Middle East region on a regular basis and its exports were helping to secure the long-term sustainability of the business.

Support from the Welsh Government had been critical in helping to get the company’s name established in the Middle East.

Projects Manager Dave Winship said “We seriously began targeting this region a few years ago and have been on several trade missions part- sponsored by the Welsh Government and UKTI which were invaluable.

“Welsh Government officials helped arrange meetings with key individuals and the help and support they provide is second to none – you just cannot put a price on it. We had meetings with key people in the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce something we would never have been able to achieve on our own.

“We followed up with our own visits to the country later but had more enquiries on the strength of that mission as it gave us the opportunity to meet key contacts and being part of a Government mission gave us credibility.”

Business Minister Edwina Hart said exports were vital for the Welsh economy and could provide an important outlet and new market opportunities for Welsh companies.

“Trading internationally can also help mitigate the effects of difficult trading conditions in the UK and Europe. I am pleased support from the Welsh Government has helped Wrexham Mineral Cables – which operates in one of our key sectors -make inroads into new markets, which in turn is sustaining local jobs.”

Dave Winship added: “The fruits of those missions are now coming through – it can take a few years and we have played a long game which is paying off and winning orders now based on our quotes, lead in time and above all, quality.”

Despite difficult trading conditions, exports now account for a significant part of the company’s business although UK sales remain firm. The company, which employs around forty people at its base in Ruabon, Wrexham, is also exporting to Qatar and India on a regular basis.