County Durham based MASfab wins seven figure contract to construct new subsea plough

Project is largest to date for County Durham fabricator, which is targeting revenues of £3m within three years

MASfabs fabrication facility in County Durham
MASfabs fabrication facility in County Durham

A North East fabrication company has landed a seven-figure contract with a leading Scottish subsea technology firm.

The County Durham-based MASfab will construct the latest version of Ecosse Subsea System’s (ESS) SCAR subsea plough, which is used in seabed excavation, trenching and boulder clearing work.

The project is the largest to date for the Bowburn firm, which provides a range of welding and construction services to the oil, gas and renewables sectors in the North Sea.

Formed last August by managing director Paul Mitchinson and director Sharon West, it now employs 22 staff. Over the next three years, headcount is expected to rise to around 30, with annual revenues exceeding £3m.

Mr Mitchinson said: “By joining with Ecosse we will benefit from massive exposure to their extensive client base, which will accelerate growth and create jobs in the North East.

“Ecosse is a very successful subsea technology firm, which has just won a multi-million pound renewables contract in the north east of Scotland.

“They have a long track record of success on traditional oil and gas projects but are increasingly the go-to people for seabed excavation, clearance and cable-laying in the fast-growth renewables industry.

“This is a win-win for MASfab and already we are benefiting from the award to build Ecosse’s new SCAR Max plough, which is the latest version of their successful SCAR technology.”

MASfab managing director Paul Mitchinson
MASfab managing director Paul Mitchinson

ESS, which is based in Banchory near Aberdeen, recently announced that profits to March 2014 had trebled to £3.4m, with revenue up by 88% to £15.6m.

In its most successful trading year to date, it won a £5.4m boulder clearing and pre-lay trenching contract on the Baltic 2 windfarm, off the coast of Germany, and recently completed 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 international automation and power group ABB to provide seabed clearance, trenching and post-lay back-fill operations on the 100-mile, £1.2bn Caithness-Moray electricity transmission link project in north east Scotland, which could end up as the company’s largest ever contract award.

ESS managing director Mike Wilson, said: “MASfab is an excellent addition to Ecosse’s capabilities and their reputation for first class workmanship on large oil and gas contracts was a driver in completing this deal.

“Our new SCAR Max plough will be an important addition to our subsea fleet and MASfab will be delivering a subsea plough which will set new industry standards and bring instant benefits to our clients.

“There are great opportunities ahead for MASfab and we are looking forward to working with Paul, Sharon and their team and enjoying the mutual benefits that knowledge sharing and close co-operation will bring.”


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