Clarehill Plastics Limited Celebrates Thirty Years Of Harlequin

10th November 2011
Clarehill Plastics Limited, the Moira, Co. Armagh based manufacturer of oil storage tanks, has recently celebrated its thirtieth birthday.

Established by Mrs. May Gracey in 1981, Clarehill initially concentrated upon the production of rotationally moulded coal storage bunkers. Clarehill's coal bunker range had been developed by Mrs. Gracey as an alternative to old-fashioned, heavyweight models. Oil tanks quickly joined Clarehill's product portfolio, with a 300 gallon 'Beehive' tank being the first model to enter production at the company's Portadown, Co. Armagh manufacturing site.

The remainder of the 1980s saw Clarehill add to its range of rotationally moulded fuel storage products, with Horizontal and Low Profile models joining the Harlequin range. The company also began to sell products outside Northern Ireland - with sales commencing in mainland Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

By the early '90s, Clarehill had outgrown its Portadown factory and relocated to new, purpose built premises in nearby Moira. Throughout the nineties, Clarehill's business continued to prosper, as many off-mains consumers across the UK and Ireland, switched from solid fuel to oil fired central heating. The mid 1990s saw the company introduce its first bunded tank, a 245 gallon Slimline model, with a larger 595 gallon bunded tank following in 1998.  A significant investment in new manufacturing capacity, also saw the company increase the breadth of the Harlequin range, with the introduction of 3,900 litres and 5,400 litres capacity models.

Despite the wave of consolidation which struck the plastic tank industry during the late nineties and into the early part of this millennium, Clarehill remained an independently owned and managed business. Clarehill continued to invest in new research, development and production capabilities. The company also assumed control of its product distribution arrangements in Great Britain; previously products sold in England, Scotland and Wales had been sold through a Sheffield based agent.

In the early part of the new millennium, Clarehill became one of the first oil tank manufacturers to adopt, probeless ultrasonic tank measurement technology. The company standardised its gauging technology around Dunraven Systems' Apollo electronic oil level monitor - equipment which continues to be fitted to Clarehill tanks to this very day.

The middle of the last decade saw further investment in the company's manufacturing capabilities, with the construction of a new factory unit on the company's Moira site, containing a state-of-the-art rotational moulding machine manufactured by Italy's Polivinil. Investment continued in the company's product range too, with a plethora of new additions to its range of bunded heating oil tanks and bunded diesel dispensing tanks. Clarehill also began to actively pursue sales opportunities beyond its home markets, establishing sales in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Poland and Spain, whilst strengthening the company's position in its home markets.

Today, Clarehill continues to invest for the future, and as the pioneering tank manufacture celebrates its 30th. birthday today, a new production unit is nearing completion at the company's Moira manufacturing facility.


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Article Last Updated 10th November 2011
 
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