Invest NI helps Newry company seal sales in Greece

Jul 06, 2009

Newry company AWP Environmental has secured its first sales in Greece thanks to a range of support from Invest Northern Ireland.

AWP designs, manufactures and distributes innovative water and wastewater treatment systems for use in residential and industrial buildings.

The success follows an investment by AWP totalling over £70,000, supported by almost £30,000 from Invest NI, which enabled the company to recruit a dedicated General Manager, target new export markets and achieve recognised manufacturing quality standards.

Invest NI also provided an Innovation Voucher worth £4,000 and free expert design advice that together have helped AWP significantly improve the portability and ease of installation of its treatment systems, as well as upgrade its website and corporate branding.

As a result, AWP recently secured the sale of a container load of units for installation in residential developments in Greece. The units will help conserve and recycle water for use in domestic irrigation systems, which are increasingly prominent given the country’s hot climate and underdeveloped water supply infrastructure.

Congratulating the company, Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office Manager Mark Bleakney said: “AWP is competing against major players on an international stage, and succeeding thanks to a commitment to innovation and the continued development of their uniquely designed water treatment systems.

“The company continuously refines its product range in order to stay ahead. Combined with the achievement of recognised industry quality marks, this positions AWP strongly to grow its export turnover despite the current downturn in the construction sector in the UK and Ireland.”

Colm Gribben, Managing Director of AWP Environmental, said: “We see the sales to Greece as an important breakthrough into European markets and are eager to build on them. Because of the underdeveloped water infrastructure there, mains water is expensive and is therefore used sparingly. Our system means that householders can collect, filter and redirect both wastewater and rain for use in growing crops or plants and even flushing toilets.

“Invest NI’s support has been essential in helping us achieve this. The Innovation Voucher enabled us to engage technical experts in the NI Technology Centre in Queen’s University to address weight, handling and installation issues in the system. Crucially, we are now able to ship products to clients without having to follow and oversee installation onsite.”

Mr Gribben added: “Invest NI has also helped us achieve ISO 9001 accreditation. Moreover, we have raised our profile and revamped our website and branding thanks to the professional advice we received through our participation on the agency’s design programme.”

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