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Ik-Pei, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, makes specialist tools to clean offshore oil and gas pipes
A NORTH-EAST firm whose specialist tools clean offshore energy pipes wants to create new jobs after expanding to the Middle-East.
Ik-Pei, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, makes pigs, which are forced through oil and gas pipes to remove debris and blockages.
The company, founded in the North-East two years ago by parent Norwegian firm, IK Stavanger, employs 39 workers, and is opening a plant in Saudi Arabia to tap into the country's oil and gas sector.
Its technicians work on offshore projects around the world, with teams now installing safety equipment to isolate pipes before welding work in Brunei, South-East Asia, and testing welds for a bulk tank farm for Saudi Aramco, in Saudi Arabia.
Bosses are now looking for new workers to support the company's continuing expansion and plan to recruit engineers, mechanical fitters, labourers and lathe turners, and they also take on apprentice engineers who are given the chance to work in Norway before returning to the North-East factory.
Ray Schofield, Ik Pei managing director, said the firm, based on Newton Aycliffe's Heighington Business Park, had already come a long way, but was committed to furthering its growth.
He said: “From a standing start, we have now have more than 160 customers worldwide, which includes many large industry players, and we export 60 per cent of production.
“The company came to Newton Aycliffe because it is an area known for having skilled and experienced workers and for its supply of pipeline cleaning and testing equipment at home and abroad.
“From that point, we have built an enviable reputation for price, quality and delivery, and invested further in our offices in the summer to maintain our rapid growth.”
The company's management team has more than 100 years experience in the pigging and pipeline industry, which Mr Schofield says is complemented by major investments in new equipment that allows it to continue winning new contracts.
He said: “We have brand new machines and spraying facilities as well as a water-jet cutter, lathes, a machining centre and machine and fabrication shop.
“There has also been substantial investment in our research and development division, and the future is looking very exciting.”
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