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Increased Tank & Scrubber Exports Help Forbes Group Buck the Recession Trend

Plastic Tank onboard a Ship at harbour ready for ExportHaving recently moved into their custom built factory on their Kelso site in the Borders of Scotland, Forbes has found increased manufacturing efficiencies within their new facilities which have enabled them to remain highly competitive.

“We have risen to the challenge to ensure full production was maintained despite the demise of the chemical industries in the UK”


“Over the past few years the company has gradually increased our export business which accounts for twenty percent of our turnover in the past year”.

Melvyn Jupp, Managing Director. 

Traditionally Forbes has maintained significant volumes of export work over the years. One of their largest export orders which included 46 large tanks all 3.5 metres diameter of various heights to allow shipment by Russian Railways, was shipped from the local docks at Berwick–upon -Tweed to St Petersburg & then by rail to Kazakhstan.

The demand Forbes has created for tanks, scrubbers & other chemical equipment manufactured in thermoplastic, GRP (glassfibre reinforced plastics) and dual laminate composites now spans the globe, even as far as China. With handling & manufacturing capacities in excessive of 10 tonnes, diameters over 5 metres with heights up to 18 metres, the company now offers a vast range of products from a few litres in capacity to in excess of 200,000 litres.

A major advantage Forbes has over many other manufacturers is the ability to manufacture in a large range of materials including polypropylene, HDPE, GRP including vinylesters, and GRP dual laminates incorporating thermoplastic inner shells of polypropylene, PVCu; PVDF and ECTFE Halar®. This ensures the correct material is selected to give long term chemical resistance with expected life spans in excess of 25 years.

The company’s expansion has led to significant export orders this past twelve months. Examples include 6 x 40m3 tanks to Portugal for petrochemicals, 5 x 40m3 large dual laminate tanks for a French power station handling sodium hypochlorite, caustic soda & iron salt solutions, other tanks going to India for ultra high purity water, 9 tanks of various sizes to Ireland for pharmaceuticals and also tanks for food productions to Greece.

The latest shipment leaving their Kelso works bound for Russia includes 6 x 20m3 capacity tank for Chlorine production plants for water treatment. This order is part of an ongoing development for similar tanks over the next few years. Currently in production is an export order for two massive scrubbing towers for China – 1 x 2.85 metres diameter x 22 metres high & 3.5 metres diameter x 14 metres high in dual laminate / ECTFE & vinylester fire resistant composites. These towers have sophisticated internals & PVDF packing media all manufactured in house. This order is due to be shipped during May.

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