Clarehill Plastics, a leading manufacturer of polyethylene oil, water and waste water storage tanks for the farming, commercial and residential sectors, has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to secure business in the Netherlands which could be worth over £1 million this year.
Invest NI’s marketing advisers assisted the company by arranging meetings with Mokobouw and Van Der Heijden, two leading Dutch petroleum product installers, which have already lead to advance orders of over €400,000.
Welcoming the new business, Clarehill’s first in the Netherlands, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, said: “This is a further example of how Invest NI’s in-market teams are helping Northern Ireland companies of all sizes and from most industry sectors to develop worthwhile business abroad.
“Our teams are helping companies to identify potential business partners in key global markets such as the Netherlands and are providing relevant information about trading procedures and requirements including product approvals. As the Clarehill business demonstrates, our teams can help in the provision of up-to-date market data, in setting meetings and accompanying a company to an initial meeting especially if translation services are required.”
Chris Mackie, Clarehill’s Export Sales Manager, outlining the new business, said: “The Netherlands is a market that we’ve been targeting for some time as part of our export development strategy to accelerate growth in global markets. We already sell our tanks to customers in France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Japan, Singapore and Australia.
“The expert assistance we received from Invest NI’s advisors in pinpointing and establishing agreements with our partner installers was crucially important, particularly in identifying regional distribution boundaries and explaining local factors within the various provinces in the Netherlands.
“The Product Certification process took around two years and involved considerable investment especially in terms of time in the Netherlands. We were prepared to devote the time and other resources because the Netherlands is an important market with immense potential for our products.”
Clarehill Plastics has been manufacturing and supplying tanks under the Harlequin brand for over 30 years. It is based at its purpose built factory in Moira.
The company pioneered the manufacture and supply of rotationally moulded plastic products such as coal bunkers, grit bins, oil, water tanks and waste water treatment plants to become one of Europe's leading tank manufacturers selling to over 20 countries worldwide including as far as Australia and South East Asia.