Welsh refinery awarded UK’s first prestigious silver accolade

Posted on 3 Feb 2014 by The Manufacturer

One of Europe’s largest nickel refineries based in Wales has become the first in the UK to win a prestigious award for operational excellence.

Vale’s Clydach Refinery, which produces high purity nickel pellet and power products, has been awarded a Shingo Silver Medallion, a global standard in operational excellence.

The site, based near Swansea, supplies the products for specialist applications such as high nickel alloys, batteries, nickel plating and automotive components.

As well as being the UK’s first, the Refinery was only the second in Europe to be awarded the Shingo prize, named in honour of Toyota production guru Dr Shigeo Shingo.

Mike Cox, general manager for Vale Europe, said the award is a recognition of the efforts placed into raising standards at the company.

“This award recognises many years of continuous improvement work by everyone at the site focused on safety, quality, productivity and efficiency,” he said.

“This not only positions our Refinery as a world-class benchmark, but provides a strong foundation for the long term success of the Clydach Refinery.”

Kelly Strong, vice-president of operations for Ontario/UK, credited the team effort for the award.

“This is an honour made possible by the efforts of every employee at the refinery,” he said.

“It’s a significant achievement and one for which all employees should be very proud.”

Having operated since 1902 and now employing 200 staff, Clydach produces around 40,000 tonnes of nickel products ever year which it supplies 280 customers in over 30 countries.