Chinese firm chooses Steel City

Cisdi UK Headquarters in Sheffield. The CISDI UK team, from left: Senior design engineer Darryl Wall, purchasing manager Bob Foster, quality manager John Birtles, MD John Lester and chief engineer Andrew Pence
Cisdi UK Headquarters in Sheffield. The CISDI UK team, from left: Senior design engineer Darryl Wall, purchasing manager Bob Foster, quality manager John Birtles, MD John Lester and chief engineer Andrew Pence

Hi-tech manufacturing companies across the City Region are set for a boost when a Chinese global engineering giant opens an office in Sheffield.

CISDI Group, which builds steel factories, chose the city over New York and Dusseldorf to launch a subsidiary to serve Europe and the USA.

The Sheffield office will provide engineering design services and be the purchasing hub for the Group – which is forecasting revenues of £1.49 billion this year – sourcing components and equipment for plants worldwide.

Bosses say they expect to place orders of up to £7 million a year – and buy locally where possible.

The firm has ploughed £1m into refurbishing the former PlusNet headquarters at Victoria Quays. Some seven jobs have been created but there is room for 50.

Mrs NingChuan Yang, director of overseas business, will visit Sheffield from South West China today to open the new office.

CISDI UK managing director John Lester said the decision demonstrated a new respect for the region’s steel heritage.

Where once China sought to replicate what its engineering companies produced, now it was buying into their world-wide reputation for excellence.

He said: “The steel heritage, the wealth of highly-skilled, metallurgically-focused workers and strong educational facilities were a major contributing factor,

“One of the main functions of the company is to procure hi-tech engineering components, which will be integrated into steel plants worldwide and ideally we want to buy them here.”