Weir Pumps Strengthen Their Russian Links
For a well-established Scottish manufacturer with a proven international track record, Weir Pumps has been in the Russian market for a surprisingly short time.
Regional Sales Manager for Eastern Europe, Geoff Inshaw, however, says that, since taking the plunge in December 2001, things have moved very rapidly indeed.
Pump manufacturing has the advantage of adaptability to various sectors, and this has not been lost on Weir and Russia. Among others, the company has supplied safety pumps for Kola Nuclear Power Station, tanker oil loading pumps for a new oil terminal near St Petersburg and pumps for the Bravo beer brewery in the city itself.
But it was the water sector that initially brought Weir Pumps to Russia, as Geoff explains: "Our first contact was via Glasgow City Council's twinning arrangement with Rostov-on-Don. We were introduced to the town's municipal water company, and that led to a pilot project to re-construct old pump stations with modern, high-efficiency equipment."
And the opportunities in water are potentially vast in a country home to 42 cities with populations greater than Glasgow – many, as Geoff explains, with very antiquated infrastructure. This and upstream oil and gas are now prime targets for Weir.
In early July a senior delegation representing Russian municipal water companies visited Weir Pumps, which Geoff described as a prime example of Russian interest in British technology and expertise. His advice to colleagues "Don't ignore the Russian market. What may at first appear to be an informal enquiry scribbled on the back of a cigarette packet could turn out to be a genuine business enquiry. If you're presented with an opportunity, probe it and follow up on it, because Russians are definitely prepared to place business.
Source: The Weir Group PLC