Pioneer Pumps to establish factory in Middle East

By Murray Pollok24 April 2012

Simon Ruffles, managing director of Pioneer Pump Ltd.

Simon Ruffles, managing director of Pioneer Pump Ltd.

Pioneer Pump will open a new pump assembly plant in the Middle East as it continues its international expansion. The new 1000 m2 facility - likely to be in Sharjah, UAE - will help the company meet growing demand for its pumps in the region.

Simon Ruffles, managing director of UK-based Pioneer Pump Ltd - the Pioneer business that supplies Europe, the Middle east, Africa and India - told IRN that the new facility, to be opened before the end of this year, will supply demand in both the construction and oil and gas sectors from contractors and rental companies.

Pioneer has recently become one of the Cat Rental Store 'allied vendors' in Europe and the Americas, and among its new customers in the Middle East is Caterpillar dealer Zahid Tractor, which has a Cat Rental Store network in Saudi Arabia. Zahid has placed a "substantial" pump order with Pioneer.

The Middle East facility will use wet ends manufactured by Pioneer Pump Ltd's sister company in the US, a similar arrangement to that used in Pioneer Pumps' South African assembly plant, opened in Johannesburg 15 months ago. The business also has a manufacturing facility in the UK.

The investment in the Middle East comes less than two months after US-based Franklin Electric acquired a 70% stake of the entire Pioneer Pump business. Franklin Electric, based in Indiana, acquired a 35% stake in Pioneer in 2005 and has now doubled that shareholding. The deal will see Franklin acquire the final 30% share of Pioneer in the first quarter of 2015.

At the time of the investment in March, Scott Trumbull, Franklin's chairman and chief executive, said; "The acquisition of the controlling interest in Pioneer furthers Franklin's strategy of expanding sales of packaged systems products which are differentiated by technology and offer the opportunity to generate higher revenue per installation.

"Pioneer's presence in the oil and gas market will also compliment Franklin's initiative to introduce submersible pumping systems in this market. Going forward, we believe that Franklin's global capabilities will accelerate Pioneer's efforts to develop new and improved products, reduce costs, and expand in international markets."

There will be a full interview with Simon Ruffles in the July-August issue of IRN.

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