The country’s centre for the treatment of large steel parts will be in Narón
Next spring, the Intaf Group will complete the expansion of its facilities, which will include the new complex
The Intaf Group, located in the As Lagoas industrial estate, is making progress in one of the largest business projects it has undertaken in recent years. It is making an investment of around 5.5 million euros, 2.6 million of which will be contributed jointly with other partners, with which it is promoting the creation of a steel processing centre that is unique in the country.
The group, owned by José Ramón Franco, is undertaking a 3,000 square metre extension at its Narón headquarters, which is divided equally between the firms Sincro Mecánica, Evolventia and the Centro galego de tratamentos térmicos do aceiro.
The latter facilities, which will be dedicated to the treatment of large parts – up to 3,500 kilos, 2 metres high and 1.60 metres in diameter – have already practically assembled the laboratory and the pit in which the processes will be applied to the structures. The pit will be 12 metres long, 6 metres wide and as many metres deep. José Ramón Franco explains that the furnace that will be used in the processes is currently being manufactured in France, already in its final phase, and the forecasts he has is that when January ends it will arrive at the As Lagoas headquarters to be installed. Another smaller furnace will also arrive at the plant in a matter of weeks, with the treatment centre scheduled to start operating in March of next year.
To undertake the investment in this complex, Intaf, which has three other Galician partners and one from the Basque Country, has received a line of aid from the Galician Institute for Economic Promotion (Igape). Franco explains that there are currently some 200 companies in Galicia that have to look outside the community for steel treatment for large parts, a shortage that from next year they hope to solve with the new facilities.
On the other hand, the expansion of the facilities will mean an increase in the capacities of the company Sincro Mecánica, which will be able to incorporate new activities to the maintenance of the wind power sector, in which it is currently involved. This company will gain a thousand square metres, a surface area that will also be incorporated by Evolventia -part-owned by Intaf together with the company Tumbadoiro, from Sada-, and specialised in gear grinding and finishing. Thus, Evolventia will have an air-conditioned warehouse and new machinery, which will increase its automation.
The materialisation of this ambitious project to expand the facilities and capacities will involve the generation of between six and eight direct jobs, although its impact on indirect employment will be greater. According to José Ramón Franco, only the Centro galego de tratamentos térmicos do aceiro will have an impact on the activity of the rest of the firms in the group.
The Intaf Group currently has 180 employees, 80% of whom are permanent. It closed last year with a turnover of around 20 million euros, and its owner forecasts that this year will end with similar figures. “Without being a good year, it will end better than the forecasts we had when it started, although we have made a lot of effort”, he explains.
The conglomerate from Narona has the electricity bill as one of its main concerns, although it is also facing occasional problems with the availability of materials and the increase in raw material costs.
Although the expectations that José Ramón Franco has on the table are that there will be a reactivation of the industry, he is not exempt from concern about the progress of other sectors, such as the wind energy sector, which is experiencing a slowdown in Galicia.
In the naval sector, however, the activity of Navantia’s Repairs division and the start-up of the F-110 programme are opening up employment prospects.