New Investment in Oil & Gas

Weinheim, September 25, 2014. The Freudenberg Group is continuing to invest in the Oil & Gas business. The Business Group Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies has established a new facility in Port Talbot, Wales. Edwina Hart, Welsh Minister of Economy, Science and Transport and Dr. Mohsen Sohi, Speaker of the Freudenberg Group Board of Management, opened the location. The new facility was built with the most modern machinery and additional testing and R&D capabilities and spans an area of 11,000 square metres. The project will create an additional 60 positions and takes the workforce in Wales to some 300. Overall, Freudenberg is investing approximately £11m in the new facility.

The Vector product line of Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies is manufactured in Port Talbot. The Vector Technology Group, one of the leading designers and manufacturers of engineered, innovative sealing solutions and differentiated seal products for the upstream segment of the oil and gas market, was acquired by Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies at the beginning of 2013. The Vector product line includes proprietary, high integrity connector products with patented metal to metal seal technology for use in offshore oil and gas platforms, floating production, storage and offloading vessels, subsea riser, swivel, flow-line and manifold applications and refineries and petrochemical plants. The products core features are its high integrity metal-to-metal sealing and design which minimize weight and space, which directly affect total project cost, installation time and maintenance cost. The products are currently manufactured to up to 15,000 PSI working pressure and have a proven track record in harsh environment applications where fatigue, high bending and stress loads are primary considerations.

The demand for products engineered and manufactured by Vector Technology Group has increased in recent years beyond the capacity of the three existing plants on the Baglan Industrial Estate in Port Talbot. Therefore, Freudenberg invested in a new facility where the three original Welsh plants could be consolidated into one.

This move benefits the business with greater operational efficiencies, a significant investment in new CNC machining capabilities, and additional testing and R&D capabilities for the global Vector product line. The project is backed by a £3m business financing grant from the Welsh Government.

"Investing and growing its oil and gas business, especially in the upstream market, is a main focus of Freudenberg," said Dr. Mohsen Sohi. "We value quality, excellence, and innovation, as underlined by this investment."

The Welsh Minister of Economy, Science and Transport found "Freudenberg's facility in Port Talbot very impressive." She added: "It is testament to the company's commitment to, and investment in, the area and the workforce's skills and dedication. I am delighted Welsh Government support has enabled the company to develop the facility and increase the workforce to nearly 300 employees. It is a signal of the company's long term commitment to Port Talbot and its faith in Wales as a great place to do business."

"This investment in Wales will enable the business to grow, remain competitive and become more efficient," said Richard T. Schmidt, President and CEO of Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies. "It marks our company's long-term commitment in Wales.  Having the additional financial commitment from the Welsh Government was extremely important and highlights its continued support to major industries in the area."