Offshore contractor urges local content enforcement by UK governmentNews // January 27, 2015
DeepOcean UK is calling on the government in the UK to review the policing of contracts for levels of ‘local content’ awarded by licence holders for projects extracting and generating energy offshore in UK waters.
The call comes after DeepOcean has missed out on a number of competitive tenders for UK offshore windfarm projects, which have been awarded to businesses based in Belgium and the Netherlands.
As a result, the company is entering into a statutory period of redundancy consultation with a number of its UK staff, based in its operations in the North East of England.
The consultation will affect 45 members of staff, the majority of which are based in the company’s office in Darlington and its riverside operation in Middlesbrough.
In 2014 DeepOcean UK was part of three competitive tenders for projects in UK waters – overseas suppliers won all the contracts.
As part of its bids, DeepOcean UK committed to delivering 82 per cent local content utilising its skilled and experienced workforce, its substantial portfolio of specialist subsea technology and supported by a local and national supply chain.
Tony Inglis, Managing Director, DeepOcean UK, said: “Politicians need to offer strong and effective encouragement to the licence holders in order that local content policy is fulfilled.
"DeepOcean is confident that it has offered licence holders proposals that are competitively priced and backed by a level of competence and expertise that is demonstrably high. Around the world, other tenders are being won by DeepOcean on the same basis.
“HM government has a real economic interest in enforcing its policy and supporting UK manufacturing and contracting businesses.”
In addition, to support the projects and the offshore wind industry’s target of reducing and controlling construction and operating costs, DeepOcean UK is investing in a new vessel for the installation of export cables for windfarms.
The company is confident that the vessel, which will have its home port in Middlesbrough, will offer the most cost-efficient and secure means of installing cables available to the industry today. It will, therefore, contribute to reducing the cost of electricity from offshore wind.
The vessel will feature specialist equipment that is designed and manufactured in the UK. This project is worth approximately £20 million to the UK supply chain.
DeepOcean is a specialist subsea contractor involved in the installation and trenching of both export and inter array cables for offshore windfarms as well as other service stream for the subsea oil and gas industry. Its UK turnover is in the region of £100 million and it is a key player in the subsea industry cluster focussed around the Northeast region.
As a major employer in the region DeepOcean has invested in key development and employment initiatives with regional colleges and universities to ensure that talented individuals remain and are attracted to the region.