FM Environmental signs agreement with Chinese firm

A Newry firm has announced the first step in the forging of a deal for the manufacture and design of wastewater treatment equipment in China.

FM Environmental's Managing Director, Eamonn Fitzpatrick, said the protocol was the initial step in a process which could, in time, result in a joint venture with Shanghai Power for the manufacture of FM's equipment in China.

He said: "Our relationship with Shanghai Power is at a very early stage. The protocol gives us time to develop our contacts with Shanghai Power and to identify the steps that we both need to take to ensure a successful joint venture.”

FM Environmental made contact with Shanghai Power Equipment during the trade mission by Trade International, IDB's export and trade arm, to China last November. Shanghai Power, as one of China's leading engineering businesses, was one of the companies targeted before the mission. A visit to the company to discuss business co-operation had resulted in Shanghai Power's President, and two of his senior managers visiting FM Environmental to sign a protocol agreement.

Mr Fitzpatrick added: "We both believe that there is a large market for the plants for treating waste water in the many housing developments and hotels currently being planned in China. Water treatment plants are large metal structures which are expensive to ship. It makes sense for us to export the know-how to enable these to be manufactured more cost-effectively closer to the marketplace.

"We are investing in our knowledge-base through an expansion of our R&D unit and are now able to offer significant expertise and experience in wastewater treatment systems."

Announcing the deal Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Sir Reg Empey, said: “FM has identified an opportunity from the Chinese government's drive to improve living conditions by tackling problems such as water pollution. FM is a small company with a highly impressive commitment to growth through overseas sales, a dedication which has seen it build business for its expertise in many developing markets including South East Asia and South Africa."

Later this week, Sir Reg will visit Beijing in support of the biggest ever trade mission to Hong Kong and China organised by Trade International, the export and trade arm of the Industrial Development Board.

FM Environmental, a LEDU client company and winner of the IDB Exporter of the Year Award for Service Companies in May 2001, currently employs around 50 people at its Newry operation in the design and manufacture of wastewater treatment plants and grease removal systems. (SP)

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