Belfast safety device supplier targets wind energy sector for growth

Belfast company Barton Industrial Services is accelerating its diversification into the multi-billion pound wind energy industry with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.

Barton Industrial designs and supplies a range of innovative safety devices that aid working at height by preventing and minimising falls. The company also provides servicing of wind energy components such as lifts and rotor blades.

Barton Industrial is investing almost £90,000, backed by an offer of over £35,000 from Invest NI, to roll out a major programme of marketing activities in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and across Europe.

The campaign will target major suppliers in the wind energy operation and maintenance (O&M) sector. Wind energy O&M requires a significant amount of installation, repair and inspection of turbine components such as rotors, gears and lifts at height and this market is set to grow considerably in the coming years as wind energy becomes more heavily adopted.

It is hoped that the marketing campaign will see the company increase its overall revenue and triple its sales in the wind O&M sector from 2008 levels by 2011.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Technology and Process Development, says: “Countries across Europe, and further afield, are increasingly making use of renewable sources of energy, particularly wind power, instead of conventional fossil fuels. As wind farms, both onshore and offshore, become more common, suppliers of a diverse range of products and services are, in parallel, well placed to capitalise.

“This is one of the themes that will be explored at Invest NI’s forthcoming Energy & Environment Conference, to be held in Belfast on 14 October. Free to attend, the conference will be an excellent opportunity for local companies to hear from renewable and environmental industry experts and network with each other to share ideas.”

Ms Hill adds: “Barton Industrial Services has recognised the major opportunities that are arising in the wind O&M sector and is marketing its expertise in fall prevention systems to this area with increasing success. The company can now look to strengthen its foothold in the market as demand for safety gear grows.”

William Barton, Managing Director of Barton Industrial Services, is pleased with the company’s progress so far: “We have seen the wind energy market as key to our future prosperity for some time now and currently generate around 20 per cent of our sales from the sector. Now, with Invest NI’s support, we can build on the key contacts that we have established with major industry players to date.

“A focused programme of activities, including attendance at major trade shows, site visits and the development of promotional literature, will increase the visibility of our devices in the market, helping us to further accelerate our diversification into this lucrative sector.”