The UK’s Weir Group has opened a new $33m manufacturing facility in Italy.

The investment is said to be one of the most significant by a UK company in Italy in recent years.

The plant in Milan is the base of Weir’s Italian arm Weir Gabbioneta, which employs almost 300 staff and will manufacture and support centrifugal pump products and services for the power industry and other sectors. Weir pumps are used in conventional, nuclear, hydro and renewable applications.

Weir acquired Pompe Gabbionetta in 2005 and the company said the new manufacturing plant will “allow Weir Gabbioneta to increase both its competitiveness and its product portfolio”. Weir Group CEO Keith Cochrane and Rosaria Longoni, Mayor of Nova Milanese

Weir Group chief executive Keith Cochrane said: “Weir Gabbioneta customers around the world now have access to decades of engineering expertise supported by the most advanced manufacturing facilities. It gives the business a great platform to grow in the future as it offers a wider variety of solutions to meet the world’s growing demand for energy.”

Weir Group’s Flow Control divisional managing director John Heasley added: “Weir Gabbioneta is one of Italy’s industrial success stories and this investment is further proof of that. Our highly skilled engineers have a facility which is more efficient and adaptable, and our customers will benefit from a broader range of highly engineered solutions.”

Ken O’Flaherty, deputy head of Mission for the UK Embassy in Italy, said the new plant was an “ambitious project which represents an extraordinary opportunity for the economic growth and technological development of both our countries. The opening of the new facility in Nova Milanese has created new jobs and will add value to skills and capabilities for which Italy and the UK are known worldwide.”