Belfast Telegraph

Russian mission bears fruit for generator firm

By Margaret Canning

A CO Armagh generator maker has won its first business in Russia after taking part in a trade mission to the market.

AJ Power, a manufacturer of emergency and prime electricity generators in Craigavon, is supplying its diesel generating sets (gensets) to a company in St Petersburg which distributes products to the construction industry across Russia.

The Russian business - which cannot be named due to commercial sensitivities - is also negotiating for rights to AJ Power's complete range of power generation equipment.

So far the contract has been worth £300,000 to AJ Power, which employs 60 people at Carn Industrial Estate and exports to more than 60 companies.

Sales director Joe Bradley said he met the Russian company during an Invest NI mission to Moscow and St Petersburg in October.

Mr Bradley said: "They were impressed by the quality of our products and our technical support and agreed to place an initial order.

"I really didn't expect to do business on the first visit. They were really keen on our equipment and anxious to build up a relationship with us."

He said the Russian business was an attractive proposition because of the doors it opened to construction.

"While there's been a bit of a slowdown in the market, the Russian authorities are still investing heavily on major infrastructure projects. Russia has money to invest from its huge oil and gas reserves.

"The most recent Invest NI mission, in late June, gave me the opportunity to visit their operation in Moscow to explore other business opportunities with them and to see how we can support their operations.

"As a result of these discussions, we'll be sending an experienced engineer to Russia to train the distributor's staff.

"Our strategic focus is on developing a two-way relationship with them in which we provide excellent technical support for the products they purchase."

Invest NI trade director, Dr Vicky Kell, said: "AJ Power is an enterprising and export-led business that has been quick to identify and exploit the extensive business opportunity in a marketplace that is still growing.

"Our mission programme targets markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, the so-called BRIC developing regions."