Clarke Energy History
Clarke Energy Limited started trading in the mid-1980’s as Marine Manpower (Services) Limited, to provide spare parts world-wide to users of marine, industrial and locomotive diesel engines. The company at that time was based in Aintree near Liverpool Jim Clarke joined the Company in 1989 at which time the Company was in financial difficulty. By 1992 he had turned the company around, from a total staff of 4 to around 40 and a turnover of approximately £0.5 to £4m. In 1992 new purpose built premises were purchased at Unity Grove, Knowsley Business Park in Liverpool.
The company has continued to grow and now provides employment for a workforce of over 650 across ten countries around the world. The Clarke Group, consisting of Clarke Energy and Clarke Telecom, is a leading solutions company for gas power generation and telecommunications. The Clarke Group Headquarters, ‘Power House’, is situated in Knowsley Industrial Park, Merseyside.
The Clarke Energy of today has transformed dramatically since Jim Clarke first took a controlling stake in the company. Jim set about restructuring what was at that time a diesel engine spare parts and service business. The first few years saw many changes, which eventually led to Jim taking complete ownership. A key milestone came in 1995 when the company was appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for Jenbacher – now one of the world’s leading manufacturers of gas-powered reciprocating engines and co-generation units. This was largely thanks to the company’s strong service based operation and enviable reputation for top quality, reliable and accountable customer service.
In 1997 the company changed its name to Clarke Energy Ltd. Since this point in time Clarke Energy has helped develop many cutting-edge renewable and high efficiency gas generation projects including some of the early landfill gas power plants, greenhouse CHP facilities, coal mine methane and more recently quad-generation plants. Complimentary to the installation of these units, the company has developed dedicated GE Jenbacher product service support facilities with remote monitoring, spare parts stock-holding. The company also has one of the few authorised global GE Jenbacher full engine rebuild and refurbishment facilities in Knowsley. On the back of the successful partnership between Clarke Energy and Jenbacher, the company began to expand overseas. 1998 saw Clarke Energy being awarded with the distributorship in Australia and New Zealand, soon followed by Nigeria in 1999. In 1999 the company successfully attracted investment from 3i plc to enable it to ramp up its ambitions for growth. It was then only a few years until the acquisition of Cogen India (now Clarke Energy India) and Jenbacher France (now Clarke Energy France) in 2003 and 2004 to further expand Clarke Energy worldwide. Completing the current Clarke Energy worldwide offices are Ireland (opened in 2005), China & Tunisia (both opened in 2008) & finally Algeria in January 2011. Since 1989, the company has continued to grow year on year with employee numbers and turnover figures consistently rising. 2010 saw a record turnover for the Clarke Group of over £180m, with the number of employees passing 650 worldwide. In 2010 Jamie Clarke, Jim’s son, was promoted to become Chief Executive Officer, with Jim retaining the position of Chairman. Also in 2010, following a successful ten-year relationship, the company completed the buy-back of shares from 3i.
As part of plans for ongoing future expansion, in 2012 ECI partners bought a minority stake in Clarke Energy.