Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 13:14 UK

Kelman/ GE create 104 new jobs in Lisburn

Arlene Foster and Bob Gilligan
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster with Bob Gilligan, VP, GE Energy Services

104 jobs are being created in a multi-million pound investment by an energy technology company in Lisburn.

Kelman Ltd, which is owned by global company GE, will manufacture existing and new products at the firm's Lisburn plant.

Invest NI has offered £981,000 towards the projects.

The company said it will be recruiting for staff in advanced manufacturing, research and development and technical support roles.

Kelman Ltd, was founded by local man, John Cunningham in 1994 and was bought by GE in 2008.

The multi-national company is one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation equipment.

The Kelman operation makes monitoring and diagnostic technology for electricity grids and counts the rail industry as one of its major markets.

In Lisburn it has developed a new type of transformer, that once operational will enhance energy efficiency across the world.

In its last year of independent operation Kelman made a pre-tax profit of £2.4m on turnover of £19.4m.

Innovation

Making the investment announcement the Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "This significant investment reflects GE's confidence in its Lisburn operation and in the quality of the local workforce.

"Since acquiring Kelman in 2008, Invest NI has worked closely with GE to maintain and grow its presence here.

"The success of this is clearly evident today. Generating almost £2.5m annually in salaries to the local economy, this investment is a welcome development for the manufacturing sector and the local economy," she added.

"I am certain that it will lay a solid foundation for future innovation, by GE in Northern Ireland."

Bob Gilligan from GE said: "In acquiring Kelman, we at GE recognised the inventiveness and innovation embedded in the company's ethos.

"Through this investment, we are laying the foundations which will allow us to build further on the capability of our NI team and to make a significant contribution to our overall global business success.

"We look forward to developing further our relationship with NI's research and supply chain base."

Endorsement

U.S. Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, Declan Kelly said the investment is a resounding endorsement of Northern Ireland by one of the world's most admired companies.

"It is proof yet again that U.S. headquartered companies are willing to invest in a significant way in Northern Ireland, and in the case of companies like GE Energy, re-invest in the region as a result of having an ongoing positive experience."

Mr Cunningham has since taken on a former part of the Kelman business to start a new company, Kelvatek, which is also based in Lisburn.



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