“Driving exporter growth through business in new sectors”

UK exporters are shaping the world. From cutting-edge new buildings in Sharjah, UAE, to water infrastructure projects in Kurdistan, UK businesses are taking their global export relationships to new heights and building a world of endless opportunities.

And a growing number do this with the support of UK Export Finance (UKEF). UKEF exists to ensure no viable export fails for lack of finance or insurance. That’s why I work with Scottish firms of all sizes every day to help them pursue new opportunities, markets and growth, as part of UKEF’s network of Export Finance Managers across the country.

With government backed finance and export-related risk insurance, exporters can win contracts and fulfil contracts, guarantee payment and attract overseas buyers – often leading enabling them to scale their businesses and explore new sectors.

Seizing new opportunities

Fife-based BurntIsland Fabrications Ltd, or BiFab, is a market-leading Scottish manufacturer of superior quality steel fabrications for the oil, gas and renewably energy sectors. While already an established heavyweight in the oil and gas sector, the firm wanted to diversify and strengthen its export business in the rapidly developing industry of renewable energy.

UKEF was able to help BiFab achieve this when it won a major contract with Dutch EPC contractor SHL to supply fabrication work for the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm. While the contract in excess of £100m was substantial, the terms required performance and warranty bonds from BiFab’s bank. Due to the size of the contract, the bond requirements were significant, and the bank required additional security in order to issue the bonds.

After working closely with BiFab, we were able to provide its bank with a UK government-backed guarantee, enabling it to issue the bonds to the overseas buyer and allowing BiFab to retain cash in order to fulfil the contract.

Opening new doors

UKEF works closely with the wider Department for International Trade enable UK exporters to access the information and support required to successfully access new overseas markets and sectors. If you have any questions or would like more information on how UKEF can assist opening new doors for you, please contact me on 07990887852 or email jon.boyce@ukexportfinance.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can visit us at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-export-finance.