News: UK exports backed to tackle oil spills

A British pollution-control company has secured government-backed guarantees worth over £300,000 to export equipment that will help contain and clean-up oil spills in marine and industrial centres across the globe. This includes the provision of oil-skimming equipment to a base in India, where it will be used to protect the country’s coastlines and wildlife.

Headquartered in the Isle of Wight, UK specialist Vikoma has won 25 global tenders to manufacture and supply the pollution-control equipment to businesses in Europe, Canada, India, the Middle East and China using the guarantees.

Vikoma qualified for support from UK Export Finance, the government’s export credit agency. UKEF’s bond support scheme freed up funds that would previously have been spent by the company on bank guarantee deposits.

UKEF is providing partial (80%) guarantees to banks providing bonds, enabling Vikoma’s working capital to be spent fulfilling a range of export deals worth millions of pounds in revenue.

Karen Lucas, Managing Director, Vikoma, said:

“One of the challenges we have with exporting is that we might want to get an advance payment from a customer and stage payments through the duration of the contract to fund the work in progress. But the customer doesn’t necessarily want to part with the cash without some form of guarantee, which is where we need to use bank guarantees.

“UKEF involvement is critical because there’s no point getting advance funding for contracts if we then have to allocate that money to one side to secure the bank performance bond.”

Stuart Stoter, Export Finance Manager for Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, said:

“By helping Vikoma and their bank with the issuance of Bonds and Guarantees, we have been able to support export contracts to a wide range of countries. Vikoma is a great example of a successful exporter and UK Export Finance stands ready to support other UK businesses trying to expand.”

UK Export Finance is the UK’s award-winning export credit agency and a government department, working alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations. It exists to ensure that no viable UK export should fail for want of finance or insurance from the private market. UKEF operates a regional network of 24 export finance managers, supporting activity in sectors including aerospace, construction, oil and gas, mining and metals, petrochemicals, telecommunications, and transport.

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