‘Green’ engineering drives three-fold rise in profits for Ecosse Subsea


An Ecosse Subsea Systems' SCAR plough being prepared for an offshore project
An Ecosse Subsea Systems’ SCAR plough being prepared for an offshore project

Ecosse Subsea Systems more than trebled profits to £3.4 million and increased revenue by 88% to £15.6 million according to its latest published accounts.

The Aberdeenshire-based subsea engineering specialist attributed the growth to a diversification from its traditional oil and gas market in to renewables and interconnectors.

Ecosse Subsea has developed technologies which are in high demand for seabed clearance work, trenching and cable laying projects. In the past two years the company has made huge inroads in to the emerging renewables sector which now accounts for 55% of projects and builds upon an earlier focus on oil and gas contracts.

The accounts to March 2014 show turnover increased from £8.3 million to £15.6 million, while operating profit (EBITDA)* rose from £1.02 million to £3.4 million in the same period.

Key to the company’s most successful trading year to date was a £5.4 million contract on the Baltic 2 wind farm offshore Germany and a multi-million pound cable-lay contract on behalf of a European utilities provider in the Humber Estuary.

Last month ESS also announced it had signed a Letter of Intent with ABB to provide seabed clearing and trenching services on the 100-mile £1.2 billion Caithness-Moray electricity transmission link project, which could end up as the company’s largest ever contract award.

The company employs 70 offshore and at its headquarters in Banchory near Aberdeen, which rose to 110 during the execution of offshore projects, and in the last year it has invested more than £1 million in research and development. Mike Wilson, Managing Director, commented:

“The results are extremely encouraging and confirm that our technologies are equally suited to and easily transferable between the oil and gas sector, which is where we cut our teeth, and the green energy market.

“Diversification is paying off for us and we will continue to look for new opportunities in other markets, including oil and gas and interconnector projects in Arctic waters where we have already received some interest.”

One of HCS Control Systems' new mobile workshops
One of HCS Control Systems’ new mobile workshops

Meanwhile, HCS Control Systems has launched a fleet of new mobile workshops which it claims will make the maintenance of critical subsea control systems offshore much safer.

The company, which designs, manufactures, assembles and tests subsea equipment, has invested £750,000 in the development of a unique test and flushing workshop. These mobile cabins can be used onshore and offshore to carry out pressure-testing, flushing and cleaning of controls pipework, umbilicals and hydraulic equipment without exposing personnel to the dangers associated with such work.

HCS has experienced strong growth in the last 18 months following a management buy-out transaction led by FrontRow Energy Partners together with Maven Capital Partners and Simmons Parallel Energy. Established in 1997, HCS now has a turnover of £14.6 million and currently employs almost 100 people.


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