Lisburn engineering business helps protect environment in Finland


Robert Craig and Sons, a Lisburn specialist in industrial pumps for 130 years, has won its first export business in Finland for a unique fuel polishing system following an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission.

The company won initial business in the Baltic region from a leading distributor of standby generators based in Helsinki, the Finnish capital. The polishing system, developed by the Northern Ireland company in partnership with an English manufacturer of fuel filters, eliminates the threat to the environment from diesel fuel that has deteriorated and may have ended up being dumped. The company launched the new fuel polishing system at the recent Helsinki Boat Show.

The contract was announced by David Craig, Managing Director of Robert Craig, and welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, during a visit to the company’s premises at Knockmore Hill Industrial Estate.

Dr Kell said: “Finland is a market that we’ve identified as offering considerable scope for Northern Ireland exporters especially in technology-led sectors including environmental engineering and clean technology. The focus on these sectors is evident in Finland and many other markets in the Nordic/Baltic region. With a close proximity to the Baltic States and especially Russia, Finland represents a strategic gateway to these important and growing markets.

“This contract is an encouraging development for the company and also for our strategic approach to these markets which has involved many aspects of our export related company support. We also work closely with in-market advisors, including UKTI staff, in Finland, Estonia and Lithuania to raise awareness of Northern Ireland products and services. These relationships also ensure a flow of information and potential business opportunities for our companies.”

Mr Craig said: “We believe this deal will provide a platform for us in neighbouring markets, countries in which our Helsinki dealer has business. It follows our success last year in securing our first export sales in the Netherlands. Our system is ideal for markets which are committed to strict environmental controls.

“What our system does is to eliminate organisms which can develop in diesel oil that’s been left in the fuel tanks of standby or portable electricity generators. Water can drip into the fuel which results in the diesel deteriorating and often leads to the contents having to be dumped. Our system offers an effective solution to this problem.

“The Invest NI trade mission to Finland was invaluable in that it helped us with essential market knowledge and on-the-ground support that led to the initial contact with the distributor. We’ve since supplied an initial order of equipment for distribution and are confident of further business in Finland and other markets in the region.

“Over the next few years, we aim to be exporting the system to customers in at least 10 international markets.”

Craigs developed the new fuel polishing system in partnership with Separ UK, a company based in Hertfordshire which supplies the filters used in the system. Craigs provides the pumps and assembles the system in Lisburn.