Concrete deal sees Tyrone firm send plant to Africa
A Co Tyrone company has tapped into one of West Africa's most under-developed nations with a contract worth more than £200,000.
The deal will see Aughnacloy-based McCrory Engineering send a mobile concrete batching plant - in effect a large and complex concrete mixer - to a Sierra Leone building contractor.
It is thought to be a first for a Northern Ireland company.
Sierra Leone's economy has significant potential given its large reserves of oil and diamonds, but it remains hugely under-developed after years of civil war up to 2002.
McCrory Engineering made the sale after showing its wares at the International Quarrying and Recycling Show in Derbyshire which it attended along with 41 other construction firms from Northern Ireland. Invest NI hosted 15 companies, including McCrory, on its stand.
Company director Seamus McCrory said the show could lead to even more business.
"The Hillhead show was tremendously successful in terms of new business leads generated for our machinery especially the new mobile plant, the first of its type in UK with unique features," he said.
"As a result of this participation, we are now following up a series of very strong leads which could boost our business significantly outside Northern Ireland. This could mean further business worth over £2m."
The state-of-the-art mobile batching plant can be producing concrete within a few hours of installation.
When fully operational, the plant can produce 40 cubic metres of concrete per hour.
"The new mobile plant is the outcome of extensive R-amp;D following discussions with existing and potential clients seeking really efficient production machinery that can be moved quickly, easily and cost-effectively from site to site," Mr McCrory said.
Dr Vicky Kell from Invest NI said the contract win was impressive.
"This is a very encouraging development for McCrory Engineering," she said.
"It is a fast return on its substantial investment in developing innovative machinery.
"It has clearly strengthened its competitive edge particularly in markets which are continuing to grow and are investing in infrastructure."
Formed in 1990, McCrory Engineering employs 25 people at its Aughnacloy base.