Offshore engineers Red Marine to create expanded testing facility in Northumberland

The engineering specialist will quadruple the size of its current workshop in Hexham

Left to right: Joe Orrell, managing director at Red Marine and Toby Bailey, business development director
Left to right: Joe Orrell, managing director at Red Marine and Toby Bailey, business development director

Offshore engineering firm Red Marine will expand in Northumberland with a new testing facility.

The seven-year-old independent consultancy and equipment suppliers will launch the 580sq m base on Hexham’s Haugh Lane Industrial Estate, not far from its existing head office in Tynedale House.

The move is designed to accommodate larger projects on behalf of global energy industry operators. Despite a challenging landscape in the oil and gas industry, the firm remains confident of future growth.

Red Marine was founded in 2008 by managing director Joe Orrell and two partners.

Mr Orrell said: “We are delighted to be opening our new testing facility in the region, keeping our core business operations within the North East where our roots are firmly established. Our new facilities will further strengthen our services whilst allowing Red Marine to enter new markets.

“The company prides itself on delivering a first class service to all our clients, offering a reactive and dedicated skill set that allows the rapid delivery of intelligent engineering solutions.

“There’s no doubt the oil and gas market is challenging at the moment with oil prices at their lowest for six years, yet our expectations for the future continue to be strong. As companies seek to reduce costs whilst still maintaining exceptional standards of health, safety and quality, this is where the importance of robust testing will really come into play.”

Since its inception, Red Marine has gone on to establish a global client base including offshore developers, installation contractors and equipment suppliers.

The firm employs 24 people — the majority of whom are chartered engineer — and has an annual turnover of more than £3m. It has built a market presence by specialising in rapid design and build of test equipment through to testing itself and analysis of the results.

Recent projects include the delivery of an umbilical clamp system — used to hold subsea cabling networks — for global subsea firm FMC Technologies in Norway.

The product will be used on board the Island Performer, a specialist vessel made for deep water oil well work in the Gulf of Mexico.

Inside the new Hexham facility, Red Marine will operate an “environmental chamber” which is capable of testing products in extreme conditions ranging from -70°c to +180°c.

The investment will also incorporate fatigue testing equipment, drop testing and subsea component qualification testing.

Mr Orrell added: “By opening this new facility we are supporting one of the core objectives of all our customers, to reduce costs, whilst continuing to deliver products and services to the highest standard of safety and compliance.”

Red Marine’s core services include offshore installation engineering, subsea solutions and qualification testing and clients include Subsea 7, Technip, FMC Technologies and GE Oil and Gas.

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