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Moving forward

A pair of bridge girders being fabricated at Jamestown’s facility.

Jamestown’s UK Business Development Manager, Mark Stewart writes on how the company is progressing this year with a strong order book, containing even more challenging projects.

When I started with Jamestown in 2016, it’s fair to say I was overwhelmed by the size of the company’s facility. Covering 17 acres, there are few larger in the UK and Ireland.

The fabrication shops are up to 180m-long, meaning there are few challenging projects we cannot accommodate, whether it is bridge structures, crane structures or complex offshore and subsea fabrications.

However, we all know that if you stand still in this world, you get left behind and so 2024 sees Jamestown moving forward with a strong order book and even more challenging jobs.

So how do we meet these demands? Niall Fortune, Jamestown’s General Manager, says we are constantly reviewing our workload and pipeline of new potential projects, in an endeavour to highlight work areas and personnel that need development and investment.

Working with steel every day, profiling in the early stages of the process is paramount. To this end, a new ESAB machine with a 5m-wide × 32m-long cutting bed, equipped with 13 oxy-fuel torches and one plasma bevel torch on two gantries, will be installed shortly.

The entire Jamestown facility covers an area of 17 acres, with plenty of space for finished items.

A recent development at Jamestown has been the installation of the shotblast and painting halls. Customers have been incredibly interested in this, as they have learnt about the time and money that can be saved by having their finished product painted and then shipped direct to the end customer.

Accordingly, our current facility will be expanded this year, from 560m² to an impressive 2,200m², much to the delight of Stephen George, Jamestown’s Production Manager, who is constantly appealing for added capacity to meet growing customer demand.

Of course, a bigger facility will enable larger fabrications to be handled through the painting process and discussions are currently under way regarding the potential investment in a 100-tonne transporter. It would be capable of driving through the blast and paint hall, which will greatly assist with the blasting of weathering steel bridge sections and the throughput of painted products in general.

All of our projects start with steel. Many continue through the plate girder manufacturing process. However, in recent years, due to Brexit, Covid and the war in Ukraine, material supplies have been affected and, determined to maintain 100% support to our customers, we have continued to search and establish new relationships and collaborations with steel mills further afield.

Furthermore, we have continued requests from our customers for ‘green’ steel, manufactured using environmentally friendly and sustainable methods. To this end, we are pleased to report that we are currently producing 1,200t of plate girders, for a prestigious London project, using green and sustainable steel.

As the order book grows and investment continues in plant and equipment, Jamestown continues to recruit and strengthen its workforce as well as developing a new Apprenticeship Programme, helping us plan for tomorrow. As Mr Fortune explains, we are only as good as our people and at Jamestown, we have some of the best in the business.

Jamestown UK
is a Gold sponsor
of Steel for Life

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