Antrim firm secures £500,000 worth of new business with Japanese military

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Fast Engineering in Antrim has completed a Research and Development project with Japan’s Self Defence Force for a unique decontamination system for their fleet of amphibious vehicles.

The project will lead to additional new business in Japan for Fast worth around £500,000 over the next year and follows a request from the Self Defence Force for a portable and versatile solution to the problem of how best to tackle and effectively manage the contamination of amphibious vehicles by salt water, oil and hazardous materials including nuclear/radioactive.

Fast Engineering, based at Windmill Court in Antrim, has been doing business in Japan for 30 plus years with clients such as the Japanese Coastguard and the Petroleum Association of Japan as well as the fire and ambulance services and the country’s Marine Disaster Prevention Centre in Yokohama.

Seamus Connolly, Fast Engineering Founder and Managing Director, commenting on the latest business in Japan, says: “We are recognised as an innovative leader there and in other parts of Asia in the provision of effective systems to counter oil spills and other pollution”.

“Our FASTANK® portable liquid storage systems and containment bunds are already widely used in Japan by a broad range of public bodies and private companies including all branches of the Self Defence Forces. We’ve developed containment and wash down systems for the Japanese Government for nuclear accidents in the past. These systems are stockpiled at ports, airports and other strategically selected locations as part of the countries emergency preparedness.

“The Japan Defence Force subsequently asked us to see how the expertise we’ve gained in countering pollution through our tried and proven Fastank systems could be adapted to solve their problem of tackling and removing salt water and other contamination from their amphibious troop carriers.

“What we proposed was essentially an extension of our successful containment bund to hold wash water while vehicles are being cleaned along with a new product, Fastank Cascade, which separates oil, salt water and other pollutants so that the cleansed water can be returned to the ocean.

“The system offers an easier and more effective way to separate contaminated waste, some of which can be recycled. Both the FASTANK® Bund and Cascade are highly portable and can be assembled in less than10 minutes without tools. We supply the system in a locally rotationally moulded Ezeebox container for ease of storage and transport which we have also designed. Ezeebox is also manufactured in Northern Ireland and is an in-house design.”

The new Fast Amphibious Vehicle Decontamination System is the latest outcome of Fast Engineering’s longstanding commitment to market-focused and customer oriented Research and Development. The project is also part of Fast Engineering’s growth strategy. The company’s R&D campaign and its growth effort are supported by Invest Northern Ireland.

A recent trial in Japan proved the efficiency of the system which has applications in the maritime sector, haulage, construction and more. The system has already caught the interest of the Japanese Coast Guard for decontamination of its small fast response boats.

Fast Engineering recently extended its manufacturing plant in Antrim. It exports FASTANK® systems globally to locations as far apart as Alaska and Antarctica.