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British engineering takes centre stage at Russian conference

07 September 2009

Sheffield Forgemasters has showcased its current and future investment plans to Russian companies at a high-profile engineering conference in St Petersburg.

Russia's most renowned manufacturing companies including SeverStal, its largest steel company, attended the ‘Shaping the Future' conference to learn about the company's increasing role as a key exporter to the former Soviet Union.

Forgemasters, now the world's largest supplier of steel rolls to Russia's steel strip rolling industry, received enquiries for a multi million GBP steel rolls order at the conference and continues to gain lucrative contracts in other sectors, including hydro and fossil fuel power generation.

Vladimir Varzunov, manager of equipment purchasing at SeverStal, said: "Business relations between Severstal and Sheffield Forgemasters are very strong. Forgemasters supplies more steel rolls to us than any other roll maker, averaging 300 per year, and has been our supplier for eleven years, longer than any other company.

"The collaboration was a success from the outset. Sheffield Forgemasters was seeking new markets and for Severstal the trading requirements were for modern technologies and the highest quality of products.

"Its success as our key supplier is based on the quality of its products combined with a very reliable service and strong, honest relationships which have grown between staff at the two companies."

Forgemasters has recently announced new multi-million GBP contracts with OJSC Power Machines to supply components for hydro power and fossil fuel power generation plants, signalling an expansion into energy markets which are crucial to Russia's economic growth.

Graham Honeyman, Forgemasters' chief executive, said: "Shaping the Future was a great success and we have already seen significant order enquiries as a result of our trip to St Petersburg, including a multi million pound enquiry for steel rolls. I'm confident that we will soon make further Russian contract announcements.

"The was designed to showcase our breadth of expertise and to demonstrate our capacity to manufacture for hydro, thermal and nuclear power industries as well as servicing established markets for Russia's steel producing mills. Our agent in Russia, Brightwell, did a superb job of arranging delegates to attend, sorting out translators for our team and organising meetings with clients.

"Russia is one of the most important, dynamic economies in the world and Sheffield Forgemasters now has eleven years' history of supplying components into the country."

The company's technical directors took centre stage at the day long event to describe the processes used to manufacture some of the world's most complex forged and cast steel products.

During the conference, the 75 delegates learned about Forgemasters' £22m investment in new plant over the last two years, helping to keep it at the forefront of global engineering.

The company's current innovative developments include manufacture of ultra high strength ten per cent chrome steel turbine forgings and unique castings for safety critical applications within the latest generation of civil nuclear power plants.

Its product share in exports to Russia is 50 per cent forgings, 25 per cent steel rolls and 25 per cent steel ingots.

Companies attending the August 26 conference included SeverStal, MMK, OJSC Power Machines, MZMZ, Prometey, OMZ Special Steels, Lengipromez, Atomenergomash, CCBA Oil Pipelines, Zvedochka, Alstom Atomenergomash, Central Design Bureau of Machine Building and NIIEFA Institute of Electrophysical Equipment.