The achievements of Teesside stainless steel specialist Paralloy have been recognised with the award of the UK’s top honour for business.

The company, which has sites in Billingham, Middlesbrough and Sheffield will receive the prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise for excellence in International Trade. 

Chief Executive Officer Robert McGowan said: “This is such an honour and a great reward for everybody at Paralloy Group.  We have worked really hard to reach a world-class level and this honour will spur us on to achieve further goals, both abroad and at home.”

Paralloy is one of only 252 organisations to receive a King’s Award for Enterprise in 2024 and just one of 161 in the category for International Trade. 

The award programme was renamed last year “to reflect His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s by recognising outstanding UK businesses”. The Queen’s Award was launched in 1966, a year before Paralloy opened its first foundry in Billingham.

Although it has been in business for those 57 years, Paralloy has been transformed since its management buyout in 2020.  

Revenue has increased three-fold, the workforce has more than doubled to more than 500 and the company has spent millions of pounds on new equipment, infrastructure and Research and Development.   It has also acquired four additional sites at the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Plant (TeesAMP) in Middlesbrough as well as new locations in Billingham and Sheffield.

Paralloy designs and produces specialist stainless steel products for a number of sectors: petrochemical, aerospace, blue hydrogen, turbines and defence.  The products are cast in one of three foundries in Billingham and finished, assembled and tested in Middlesbrough. 

Around 90% of its business comes from overseas customers and Paralloy is currently working on one of the biggest orders in the company’s history, providing key components for the new $6 billion Ras Laffan petrochemical complex in Qatar. 

It is providing nearly 400 radiant coils which will be installed inside the seven steam cracking furnaces at the plant. 

The coils, which are each 15m long, are being manufactured to withstand temperatures of 1,100 degrees centigrade.  Paralloy was chosen ahead of the two other leading companies in the world with the capability to deliver the contract. 

Despite its success in international trade CEO Robert McGowan also has eyes on domestic markets: “We hope to tap into the new Hydrogen network being built in Teesside from 2028 and not only use the hydrogen but supply the core reformer tubes that are used to make the Blue hydrogen by BP, thereby creating a truly circular and local footprint.”

Further growth will require additional space and staff and Paralloy is looking at a number of ways – including opening its own training academy – to overcome the skills shortage. 

Although the King’s Award for Enterprise is Paralloy’s highest honour to date, its achievements have already been recognised with a number of other industry awards. 

The most recent – the fourth in less than six months – was for the success of its Business Growth and Strategy at the Make UK Manufacturing Awards which took place at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.  Paralloy will receive its King’s Award at a ceremony in July.