A local valve company aiming to capitalise on the region’s growing hydrogen sector and set to double the size of its headquarters has been visited by Mayor Ben Houchen.
MCE Group, established in 1990 in Stockton, provides valve shutdown and repair technologies and supplies ValvTechnologies’ range of zero-leakage isolation valves to industries including power, chemical/petrochemical, oil & gas and manufacturing.
A recent breakthrough came at one of the group’s clients, after installing ValvTechnologies ball valves to isolate high-pressure hydrogen, resulting in zero leakage and safer, more efficient operations compared to the valves traditionally used there.
This success has seen the firm turn its eyes to the potential applications right across the hydrogen sector and key projects coming to the region could boost the company even further. As the UK targets net zero by 2050, ValvTechnologies guaranteed zero-leakage valves will help play an increasing part in isolation solutions, protecting clients against unintentional emissions.
Schemes in the pipeline by bp, such as its plans for green and blue hydrogen production and the Net Zero Teesside carbon capture, utilisation and storage scheme, alongside Northern Gas Networks, which previously trialled hydrogen in domestic systems for heating and cooking, are all positioning Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool as key locations for the industry. It is one MCE Group is keen to tap into as it continues to grow.
This is an expanding market for the firm, which currently employs 23 within its 8,000sq ft Portrack headquarters and its satellite workshop in Warrington, Cheshire. Due to increasing success in securing valve maintenance contracts, MCE Group’s headquarters will soon more than double when it moves to a 19,000sq ft facility at Preston Farm in March, with the company also planning to take on new technicians and administration staff as part of the relocation.
Mayor Houchen said: “MCE Group is a vital, long-standing business in our fantastic supply chain who are grabbing the opportunities in the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of tomorrow coming to our region with both hands.
“From production to its application as a fuel of the future, our region is at the forefront of hydrogen innovation. With the skill and expertise of our local workforce, there are plenty of ways other local firms can follow MCE Group’s lead, diversify and get involved in key projects coming to Teesside.
“It’s crucial that brilliant local businesses and their workers across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool share the benefit of new opportunities that are fast approaching. Already going from strength-to-strength with their move to new premises that will create even more good-quality, well-paid jobs, I’m certain MCE Group have a bright future ahead in supporting new developments in the region.”
Selwyn Jones, Business Development Manager at MCE Group, said: “We are aware of the great work Mayor Houchen is doing in helping to bring additional industry to the Teesside area, in turn supporting the local supply chain. We were delighted to welcome him for a tour of our Stockton-on-Tees facility and discover how we already support local companies with valve maintenance requirements, and in the difficulties faced during the pandemic, we have still managed to grow the company significantly.
“As more and more companies are choosing to set up in Teesside, we also discussed how we are engaging with them to highlight our metal-seated valve products for isolation, giving guaranteed seat tightness, as we aim to assist them targeting zero emissions, and help the UK to reach net zero by 2050.”