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Inside a large shed just off the Princes Highway in Stratford, they are making an item that no-one else in Australia is able to produce.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester visited David Baxter Engineering where they are manufacturing high-pressure severe service ball valves for an international jet engine company.

“I am always interested to learn more about local businesses and their successes locally, nationally and overseas,” Mr Chester said.

“An international search for a component that met the jet engine company’s exacting needs led to Australia, where they found a designer, Delatite Valves Australia, and then to Stratford, where the order for the valves was placed with David Baxter Engineering.

“These kinds of stories are not unusual in regional areas and are testament to the skill, versatility and innovation you will find in work places across Gippsland.

“It’s also a reminder to younger people of the opportunities that can be found close to home.”

Company director David Baxter said all of the components of the valves were made and assembled on site.

“We need a couple of weeks to make each valve, which our UK-based customer will then fit to their turbine test units,” Mr Baxter said.

“These two-inch valves are made of high carbon stainless steel and are ‘severe service’ ball valves, which means they are designed to work under extreme temperatures and pressure and to withstand other conditions, such as mine slurry and acid passing through them.

“This is a specialised and unique mechanical engineering craft and we are the only manufacturer of these high-pressure severe service ball valves in Australia.”

The business has been twice contracted to make the valves for the same client and hopes to be called on to manufacture more.

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