North East manufacturer, BEL Valves, has invested £250,000 over the last 18 months to futureproof the business as part of its sustainability plans.

The changes in the oil and gas industry and worldwide goal of achieving net zero has challenged the business to reassess the long term future of the deep sea oil and gas industry.

Following an extensive restructure in 2020, the valve manufacturer aims to generate up to £20 million in sales by 2025 as part of a five year plan, targeting the energy transition market, as well as traditional markets.

By introducing a multi-skilled workforce, where employees are encouraged to take on new responsibilities, the Newcastle based business has improved its lead time to cater for an increase in fast track orders sending bespoke products in as little as 24 weeks from enquiry.

With over 50 years’ experience, the business has developed a large portfolio of topside and subsea applications, specialising in high integrity, complex valve solutions for applications including subsea high-integrity pressure protection system (HIPPS) and high pressure and high temperature ultra-deep applications for critical service conditions, including the first subsea gate valve in 1985.

As part of the plan, BEL Valves has introduced a ‘one team environment’ where employees meet daily to ensure they are working towards the same targets. The business has also opened opportunities for employees who would normally be based at the St. Peter’s site to work offsite or offshore at an installed base.

The business has invested in two state of the art automated storage and retrieval units which have transformed the stores and stock handling process. Additional work to upgrade the assembly and test offices, testing bays, lighting and paint work has started.

Richard Turner, CEO, said: “The last 18 months have been hard for many businesses but we are performing well and are in a much better place to take part in the transition towards a zero carbon world.

“We recognise that our employees have played a significant role in reshaping the business, which is why we have launched an employee led sports, social and charity fundraising committee. It is important to us that our employees know they are appreciated and enjoy working at BEL Valves. Members can apply for donations to clubs they are affiliated with, or organise company funded trips.

“The business is delivering on time, especially on fast track orders, and we’ve seen an increase in sales over the last six months. All of which puts BEL Valves in a strong position in the market for the future.”

To further contribute towards a net zero world, BEL Valves has committed to sending no waste to landfill and plans to rewild an unused area of its site to attract natural habitat. Employees have also either transferred or been offered the opportunity to lease an electric or hybrid vehicle as part of the British Engines Group Tusker car scheme.