Monday 26 August 2019

Sharp expands with new deals totalling €3.2m

The Irish group is taking on global players at the top end of the security market, writes Fearghal O'Connor

Ivan Nolan, Managing Director of Sharp Group
Picture Conor McCabe Photography
Ivan Nolan, Managing Director of Sharp Group Picture Conor McCabe Photography

Fearghal O'Connor

Fire and security company Sharp Group has announced deals worth €3.2m, including a contract to provide all the electronic maintenance for ESB Networks' 120 sites nationwide.

The three-year deal, in conjunction with Aramark, for all of ESB Networks' power-generating stations and sites, is the first singular contract of its kind.

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The largest Irish-owned fire and security company has also secured contracts worth €2.3m in the past six weeks for remote monitoring, guarding and high-end security systems, with blue-chip clients in the pharmaceuticals, drinks and high-value consumer goods sectors.

It has also recently completed security system designs and installations for MetLife in Dublin, Canary Wharf and Brighton, and the Bank of Abu Dhabi in the UK. Sharp Group also provides monitoring for DCC's Great Gas networks of remote fuel-dispensing sites.

It has recently taken over the electronic fire protection for more than 90 accommodation blocks belonging to Dublin City Council, and also provides static security services for the National Transport Authority of Ireland.

The new contracts will see Sharp's workforce increase from 125 to 180 at the end of the summer. The Rathcoole-based firm provides fire and security solutions from concept design, installation and commissioning, through to maintenance, manned staff, mobile guarding and proactive monitoring.

At the heart of the 20-year-old company's success story is constant internal investment in training, standards and technology, according to founder and managing director Ivan Nolan.

He said: "We have just become the first Irish security company to gain the ISO 27001 standard, which deals with information security management. It allows us to operate at the highest levels of data centre and information security, where it is an absolute requirement.

"We are driven by plcs, which means that we are constantly audited to the highest international standards - far above the industry mean.

"Our competitors in Ireland are three internationally based plcs. We play to our strengths, which is our experience on the ground."

Sharp has invested in Ireland's most technically advanced control rooms, monitoring systems and security communications, he said.

"This gives us amazing off-site automation, whether it is leak detection in high-end pharmaceutical facilities, dispensing petrol, monitoring temperatures in trucks' freezer units overnight, or being notified if a UPS drops off in a hospital or clinic," Nolan added.

"We have worked with many of the large plcs and semi-State companies on critical infrastructure, such as main gas lines supplying Ireland, and oil rigs with intrinsically safe fire detection systems. We are very selective about the contracts that we take on, aiming to grow steadily by 8pc per year, both organically and by company acquisition."

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