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New multi million pound investment in Hereford Enterprise Zone

Additional capacity for KGD to support growth and job creation 

A specialist manufacturer is to invest more than £5m into a new development at the county’s Enterprise Zone, creating 50 new jobs.

KGD, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of bespoke fluid handling systems for the worldwide oil and gas industry, has begun work on a new 7,000 sqm plant at Hursey Road on Skylon Park at Rotherwas. 

The development is a major expansion for KGD, which has existing premises nearby in Netherwood Road, and will enable it to increase capacity as demand grows for its fabricated equipment which is installed on oil and gas rigs across the globe and in specialist plants for the food and pharmaceutical sectors. 

Managing director Ken Davies says the development would not have been possible without the Zone and Herefordshire Council investing in a new access road to the estate. 

“The systems we create, for example, are used for oil and gas separation and can be 120 tonnes  – we need massive cranes in the roof to pick them up. These ‘skids’ obviously also have to be moved from here to our customers and so having that access road was criticial to this new development.”

KGD’sequipment is used by the likes of Texaco, Shell, Glaxo Smith Kline, Chevron and BP. The Sunday Times previously named the firm as one of the top 10 in the list of fastest growing export SME’s in the UK and it has recently been approved by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Centre (Nuclear AMRC) to supply the nuclear sector.

Mr Davies says: “We are getting these contracts because we have a reputation for doing things right. When you’re putting these skids in the middle of the ocean on an oil rig, the integrity of the design and fabrication, of the welding, of the shot-blasting and the painting, plus the testing has to be very high.

“I like to do everything in house which is why our team designs the system, fabricates it in anything from carbon steel,stainless steel, titanium or nickel alloy, then puts it together, tests it, takes it apart, shot blasts and paints it and then we reassemble and install the instrumentation and control systems.”

One of KGD’s skids can cost £5m and take a 40 strong team around 12 months to build.

“The new buildings will allow us to make bigger and heavier equipment so we can access new markets and of course, a bigger chunk of our existing market,” added Ken.

Covering more than six acres, the development will add fabrication, assembly and testing workspace to its existing facilities and increase its capacity for shot blasting and painting. The site will also feature dedicated stores, a research and development building, and become the new headquarters and additional offices for KGD.

The first building is due to open later this year, the development is expected to support the introduction of a further 50 jobs, on top of the existing 100-strong workforce.

Mr Davies, who founded the firm in 1982, said: “This is a very exciting development for KGD. Skylon Park offered us a blank canvas to design a bespoke facility that will suit our specific needs.

“This includes workspace with increased headroom up to 11.5m and overhead crane capacity up to 120t, allowing us greater flexibility in our design and manufacture process.”

Chairman of the Enterprise Zone Board, Bill Jackson, said: “KGD is a leader in its field and we are delighted that the company has committed to such an important development on Skylon Park. Once KGD complete their full complex of 4 buildings it will represent the largest single company investment on the Zone so far.”

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