Engineering firm FES International has secured around £10m of orders for its latest patented product which is attracting high demand among the subsea industry.
The business, which specialises in manufacturing fluid transfer systems for subsea oil and gas extraction, has patented its new Automatic Diverless Bend Stiffener Connector (DBSC), technology the company said reduces installation costs by up to ï¿½400,000 for customers.
Since patenting the design, the forward order book has been filling up with contract requests from blue chip firms, including Shell, Total and Inpex.
The contract wins come months after the Blyth-based business announced plans to move from its Riverside Business Park base to a 35,000 sq ft workshop in North Seaton Industrial Estate.
The new premises are seven times larger than its existing space but the firm is still concerned the new building won’t be big enough as it continues to grow.
The new technology was developed in collaboration with Shell as part of a $1.6m (£1.04m) contract for six Automatic DBSCs for Shell’s Prelude FLNG operations off the Western Australian Coast.
The project, from order to delivery, including the prototype and testing of the new units, was delivered in just nine months.
The move follows the firm’s aim to continue development of its bend stiffener connector product line, a design which it said provides quick, efficient, safe and cost-effective installation in congested and confined areas. It has over 150 DBSC units in operation across the globe including West Africa, Australia, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and the North Sea and is attracting interest in its automatic system from all these markets.
Rob Anderson, managing director of FES International said: “DBSCs represented real progress for the subsea industry, improving safety by removing much of the need for divers during installation. Our automatic DBSC takes this a step further by removing the need for ROVs, reducing costs and giving firms much greater flexibility during installation.
“Shell has been a fantastic client and its proactive approach played a key role in the development of our design. They also contributed significantly to the prototype testing. In return we’re delighted that we’ve been able to deliver a project that represents a significant leap forward in subsea technology to a timetable that has helped keep Prelude on schedule and that few firms in the world could match.
“The number of enquiries we’re receiving for our Automatic DBSC shows it fills a gap in the market place and we have received contracts from Shell, Inpex, Total and BG Norge while others are racing to specify it at the design stage.”