Oliver Valves, a UK-based, privately owned manufacturer of high-performance valves used by the world’s biggest energy companies, has secured a £7.2m deal to supply two projects for Brazil’s leading oil and gas firm.

The deal, which is the biggest single contract in the firm’s 30-year history, is for delivery of 391 valves, ranging in size from 2in to 12in in diameter.

Delivery of the first units has already begun and all installations are scheduled to be completed by September 2012.

The valves will be used on two floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels operating of the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

David Cornwell, managing director of Oliver Valves, said: “This is a landmark contract for the business as it is not only the biggest we have ever secured but it also represents a major success in an international market that is relatively new to us.

“Just five years ago, Brazil was hardly even on our radar in terms of sales, but this year it will generate more revenue for the business than any other territory.

“We secured this project on the basis of our technical ability, rather than by beating our competitors commercially.

“We undertook nine months of specification work before securing the project and we committed the time up front to ensure we would be delivering the best possible solution.

“This approach has clearly paid off and this demonstrates that it is possible for British manufacturers to compete internationally by outperforming others in terms of quality, if not always on price.”

The win follows a series of other international contract wins in 2011 including a £1m order to supply subsea valves for a project in the Gulf of Mexico, a separate £800,000 order from a major Brazilian oil company, and Oliver Valves’s first subsea contract in Chinese waters – worth £400,000.

David Cornwell said: “We have achieved a lot of success in securing new orders in the past six months, and delivering these projects will mean increasing the capacity of the business through significant recruitment.”