ESS benefits from diversificationCompany News // January 9, 2017
Subsea and engineering technology company Ecosse Subsea Systems Ltd (ESS) says it had benefited as an ‘early adopter’ as it moved from its traditional focus in oil and gas in to the renewables and interconnector markets.
Banchory-based ESS forecast turnover in the current financial year will double to between £23-£25 million, with profits jumping to around £5 million and staff numbers growing from 35 to 50 employees.
ESS said it was responding to fresh opportunities to deploy its innovative technologies in emerging markets in the Baltic Sea, the Far East and US.
The latest accounts for the year to 31 March 2016 lodged at Company House show a turnover of £12 million compared to £17.6 million the previous year, while profits were £704,000 compared to £1.3 million.
ESS managing director, Mike Wilson, predicted a bright future following the transition in to renewables and after a year which included exceptional R&D investment of £1.4 million on the company’s SCAR 2 seabed preparation system, which is the largest boulder clearing tool in the world.
Mr Wilson said: “Our traditional revenue streams have been replaced after successful diversification into offshore renewables and interconnector projects, and the company has strong growth opportunities in these areas. The rates of very fast turnover growth and profits seen in previous years are likely to be sustained, the last year of consolidation and continued investment in research and development in our new technology products have paid off, and we have had great success building the order book of contracted work.”
In the current financial year, ESS has executed a £5 million project on the Race Bank offshore windfarm on behalf of Dong Energy, and extended a trenching scope on an earlier project on behalf of Prysmian Group on Iberdrola’s Wikinger offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea.
An international infrastructure group also commissioned ESS to design and build a £3 million, 1,500 ton carousel and associated spread to be used in the storage of spare cables required for UK offshore windfarms, while other technologies including a backfill plough have been contracted for a major interconnector contract.
The company has been supported by Scottish Enterprise and part funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds Programme to develop SCARJet, a water jetting tool which has the potential to double trench production rates in seabed trenching operations.
December 2016 saw ESS round off a successful year when it was received the Engineering Excellence Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards for its SCAR Seabed System, which can be used in seabed clearance and route preparation for the renewables, interconnector and oil and gas sectors.
Mr Wilson added: “The next year and beyond looks very promising in renewables, the interconnector market and in oil and gas, where there are some green shoots starting to appear. The technologies which we have developed for use in the renewables sector are equally applicable for oil and gas projects, and we will be working hard to build on our long-established reputation for innovation and flexibility in traditional hydrocarbons.”