Jobs boost for local engineers

ARBROATH has received good news on the jobs front with the announcement that John M. Henderson, engineers, are taking on more skilled workers having won multi-million pound contracts.

The company recently expanded its design office staff and has increased the number of welders and fabricators on the shop floor to take the total number of employees to around 100.

They are still looking to recruit skilled personnel and have suggested that qualified people looking for jobs should contact the firm with their details, which would then be kept on a database so they could be contacted when required.

The contracts they have won are for coke plant equipment in Canada and the UK. The Canadian contract was won against tough competition from Germany and the USA.

It involves the complete engineering for a coke oven machine ordered by steel maker US Steel Canada.

Henderson’s links with the Canadian company go back to 1977 when the local firm provided the first coke oven machines to the customer’s Canadian plant.

The UK contract involves the design, supply and commissioning of an integrated pollution control system for Monckton Coke and Chemical Company to help the South Yorkshire firm comply with strict environmental legislation.

The technical director at Henderson, Mr Gary McCombie, explained: “Despite the global economic crisis, we are expanding our activity by tackling new and exciting projects all over the world.

“The recent orders are a result of our sound strategy of strengthening our long-established partnerships with traditional customers.”

The company expects turnover to be about £8 million this year. It is also heavily involved in the oil and gas industry.

Henderson was founded in Aberdeen in 1866 by John MacDonald Henderson. In 1985 the Aberdeen manufacturing unit was re-located to Arbroath and all equipment was moved to the new factory. The six acre site incorporated a 75,000 square feet factory area with the major administrative, design and contract functions being retained in the Aberdeen office.

In 1990 a new 10,000 square foot workshop was built at the site due to the expansion of work in the steel and oil related industries. This new workshop includes overhead cranes up to 70 tonnes and a deep water inspection pit.

A year later the Aberdeen offices were sold and the Arbroath offices were extended to accommodate the transfer of personnel.

The 1990s opened up new international horizons for John M. Henderson, as the company’s cutting edge technology started to be recognised and adopted all over the world. Between 1990 and 2000, Henderson successfully manufactured and installed more than 100 coke oven machines in the USA, France, Slovakia, Australia and the UK.

The last 10 years have brought a decade of unprecedented growth for the company. The excellent reputation and expertise established Henderson as one of the worldwide leaders in coke oven machinery. Since 2000, they have installed over 60 new coke oven machines in Korea, Argentina, Canada, Italy and Brazil. Oil and gas projects have also experienced great expansion.

Today, John M. Henderson is a major supplier to the steel, oil and mechanical handling industries worldwide.

Arbroath East and Lunan councillor Donald Morrison said he is delighted at the success of the local engineering company.

He went on: “JM Henderson is a long established company in Arbroath and this is excellent news for everyone involved at the firm, the local economy and for the town.

“This gives Arbroath a much needed jobs boost after recent business closures and strengthens JM Henderson’s commitment to the town with the additional requirement for skilled labour.”