AN engineering firm in Co Antrim has announced an investment of over £600,000 in new equipment to boost its export prospects.
McAuley's Engineering, which is based in Ballymoney and supplies precision and sheet metal parts to customers including Wrightbus and Caterpillar, said its investment will help it in the manufacture of products for the gas and oil industry.
Managing director Jonathan McAuley said the deal, which was funded by Danske Bank, was part of the firm's long-term growth plan. It will also secure 90 jobs at its head office.
Mr McAuley said: "The new multi-tasking machinery that we're investing in will enable us to produce components in a range of exotic metals extensively used in the oil and gas sector. In this industry, where parts have to last for 25-30 years, the quality that we're able to guarantee is crucial.
"Complete accuracy and quick turnaround times are cornerstones of our production process. We're constantly looking for ways to improve, and the efficiency of the new equipment will help us reduce costs for customers."
Danske business banking manager Janet Patrick said the company had take a strategic approach to business development by making a long-term investment. She said oil and gas could be "huge drivers" of growth in years to come in Northern Ireland.