Sturgeon opens new £2.5m sub-sea testing centre at Balmoral Offshore

Dorothy Shepherd
Dorothy Shepherd

A new centre of excellence for testing emerging N. Sea technologies in the subsea sector has been launched with the support of £1.5 million in taxpayer funds by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Balmoral Offshore Engineering, based in Aberdeen, is creating a new open access hyperbaric pressure testing facility for the oil and gas supply chain, and specifically for the subsea sector.

The centre will be available for large companies and SMEs to use and the project will more than double the capacity of large-scale open access pressure testing vessels from two vessels to five in Scotland.

The Balmoral Subsea Test Centre currently employs 12 people and in addition to safeguarding those positions there is a high probability of adding to this number in the short to medium term.

Jim Milne CBE, Chairman and Managing Director, Balmoral Group, said: “The establishment of Europe’s leading hyperbaric test centre in Aberdeen further strengthens the city’s position as a centre of excellence for the global subsea industry while also opening up opportunities to work with the renewables and defence sectors.”

Sturgeon added: “This specialist facility will allow new products to be developed and existing ones to be tested and improved. This will bring huge benefits in developing and supporting emerging technologies in the oil and gas industry.

“Scotland is a world leader in subsea engineering, already accounting for around 15 per cent of the £50 billion global subsea market and as our Subsea Engineering Action plan has outlined, we want to build on this, supporting companies to grow and ensure we have the class-leading test and research infrastructure needed to meet future needs of a sector that already employs 38,000 in Scotland.”

Meanwhile, also in Aberdeen, Bibby Offshore has appointed Dorothy Shepherd as its new general manager for the renewable energy sector.

With more than 15 years’ experience in the energy industry, she previously worked at the Crown Estate for a number of years

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