Triple contract win fuels expansion at Ashington engineering firm

A £700,000 contract win at FES will help steer the Northumberland firm to posting one of its best ever financial performance years FES managing director Rob Anderson
FES managing director Rob Lawson

A fast-growing oil and gas engineering firm is set to deliver one of its best ever financial performances after winning another major contract.

FES International in Ashington has secured a US $1.2m (£700,000) project to supply four Diverless Bend Stiffener Connectors – which are used to link cables from subsea installations to vessels on the sea surface – to contractor NOV Flexibles.

The work covers the supply of semi-automatic DBSCs to be used by Subsea 7 on the Total-operated Martin Linge field in the North Sea on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The field is one of the largest undeveloped gas discoveries in the North Sea and will have the capacity to produce up to 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day when production starts, possibly as early as 2016.

This is FES’ third project for NOV this year with a combined value of almost US $5m (£3m).

FES said the hat-trick of wins had put it on course to achieve revenues of $28m (£16.7m) in the year to the end of July – a 47% jump on the US $19m (£11.3m) turnover the previous year. Although no jobs will be created as a result of the latest contract, the company said it expected to take on more staff in the next 12-18 months to service its £10m order book.

Managing director Rob Anderson said: “This latest contract win helps us significantly. We are on the edge of quite a bit of business and we expect to be seeing more growth in the next financial year.

“We are now seeing the benefits of a maturing company with 17 years of industry experience. Although we are a company based in Ashington, we operate in all four corners of the world.”

FES is currently in discussions to supply two companies in Asia Pacific with its fluid swivel systems, which are used on floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels at sea.

Its DBSCs have also proved to be a lucrative revenue stream. This year FES has supplied DBSCs to NOV Flexibles for use in the North Sea at the Mariner field, Statoil’s heavy oil development and as part of Subsea 7’s Western Isles Development (WID) project.

The Northumberland firm has enjoyed a period of sustained growth after being given the go-ahead last year to expand its Ashington premises by 12,000 sq ft to bolster its manufacturing and testing facilities.

The expansion of its premises was assisted through a grant from The Northumberland Business Growth Programme. Arch, The Northumberland Development Company, in conjunction with Northumberland County Council, was awarded £11.75m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to deliver the scheme, which provides financial support to businesses across Northumberland, encouraging the creation of sustainable jobs and the safeguarding of existing jobs.


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