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Firm sees growth in renewables

Ecosse banks on sector switch to build revenue

Mike Wilson ESSSubsea and engineering technology company, Ecosse Subsea Systems saw profits fall last year, but says it will benefit from making the switch from the oil and gas sector into the renewables and interconnector markets.

Profits at the Banchory-based firm slipped from £1.3m in 2015 to £704,000 in the year to March 2016 on a fall in turnover from £17.6 million to £12m.

It expects turnover to bounce back to between £23m and £25m next year.

ESS said it is responding to fresh opportunities in emerging markets in the Baltic Sea, the Far East and US.  It expects the payroll to increase from 35 to 50.

ESS managing director, Mike Wilson, said the last year included exceptional R&D investment of £1.4m.

“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,” he said. 

“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 Wind Farm 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 million1500-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. 

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.”


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