Bestobell teams up with big player in America

BESTOBELL Valves expects to boost its sales to the United States after signing a “major” deal with a Florida-based global supplier to the marine, oil and gas industries.

Mark Henley, MD of PEGL.

Bestobell, which is part of the President Engineering Group based in Sheffield, has appointed W&O Supply as its exclusive distributor in North America.

Through this partnership, Bestobell’s LNG (liquefied natural gas) cryogenic valves, which manage the flow of LNG to the engines of ships, will be targeted at marine companies throughout North America, said Bestobell.

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The valves, which are specifically designed for marine applications, are fire safe and all components are able to withstand a minimum temperature of 925 degrees.

Ship owners and operators in the United States are “paying closer to attention” to the benefits of LNG fuel, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions, could potentially lower fuel costs, and is already “highly popular” in the European marine market, according to Bestobell.

The group said it has joined forces with W&O Supply to be “at the forefront of this growing demand” in the US.

Mark Henley, managing director of President Engineering Group, said: “The distribution agreement will create fantastic opportunities for both W&O and Bestobell Valves as it utilises the common strengths of both companies.

“We share a similar ethos to W&O, which is based on offering outstanding customer service and delivering high quality products, on time, to the end user.

“We look forward to this being the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

President Engineering Group was formed in October 2010 when the Conflow and Bestobell Valves businesses were purchased in a management buyout from Flow Group.

These businesses consist of a manufacturing and distribution unit in Sheffield, a distribution unit in Pittsburgh, in the US, and a manufacturing unit in Ahmedabad, India.

In November last year, the group acquired Deryshire-based Bretby Gammatech, a niche provider of coal monitoring products.

Mr Henley said that since 2010 President Engineering Group, which employs about 100 people in Sheffield, has seen its annual turnover double to £20m.

“Some of that growth has been in energy applications, it is the fastest growing sector in our business”, he added.

“We supply larger valves for LNG carriers, the large vessels that transport LNG around the world, that’s a huge growth area at the moment for us. We also supply industrial gas valves for nitrogen, helium, oxygen transport process and storage applications around the world.

“We also supply fire and dust suppression equipment to coal mines as well so another part of our business.”

W&O Supply, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, is a global supplier of marine pipe, valves and fittings, valve automation, and engineered solutions to the marine and upstream oil and gas industries, which focus on exploration and production.

Engineered solutions product manager for W&O, Matt Hallisey, said: “Our presence in Canada and all major ports within the US enables us to assist in managing marine LNG projects from design to completion.

“We are combining Bestobell’s proven product and our ability to provide local, on-site support and project management for our valued customers.”

Serving a variety of customers around the world, W&O operates a network of 19 branches throughout North America, South America and Europe from its corporate headquarters in Jacksonville.

Bestobell said that its own “deep experience in supplying valves for LNG systems, combined with W&O’s large footprint and strong connections in the North American market, make this a wise business pairing for both companies”.

Mr Henley said: “We already have lots of customers (in the US), but all our customers in the US tend to be on land based applications so land-based industrial gas, land-based liquefied natural gas applications.

“The marine fuel market, which is what W&O will be aimed at, is a relatively new market. It is probably two to three years old and it’s a very fast growing market.”

Originally founded in 1857, Bestobell has more than 50 years’ experience in the development and supply of cryogenic valves for industrial gas, and has 15 years’ experience in supplying to the LNG marine markets.