Offshore engineering specialist Osbit Power is hoping to capture more of the offshore energy market emanating from the South East, using North East grown skills.
The Riding Mill-based engineering firm have taken space in Lowestoft’s OrbisEnergy in the hope of using the base as a springboard to secure work in offshore decommissioning projects that are co-ordinated from the area.
No permanent staff will be based out of the hub but Osbit believes the region — as an operating base for activity in the southern North Sea — could prove to be a lucrative market for its services, which include design and manufacture of subsea vehicles and back-deck equipment.
The firm has also joined the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), a trade body which represents around 400 companies in the energy supply chain in the East.
OrbisEnergy, which is owned by Suffolk County Council and operated by Enterprise Agency NWES, is a centre for the offshore renewables sector. It provides office and conference facilities close to the region’s offshore operations.
Osbit sales manager Chris Jones said: “We’ve already done some work in the area around offshore wind farms. The region is home to a number of wind farm operators, and the supply chain that complements that industry — much in the same manner as the North East.
“For us, this is not only an opportune time, but also a great opportunity to take North East skills and knowledge to the rest of the world. We’re still firmly entrenched in the North East, and always will be, but this allows us to expand our reach.”
The move builds on a strong set of results for Osbit last year, including a rise in profits from £21,000 to £1.4m.
On the back of several contract wins the Northumberland firm grew its headcount from 19 to 32 and boosted turnover to almost £8m.
Mr Jones said Osbit had been creative and flexible to negotiate recent turbulence in the energy market, and insisted the company had a growth strategy that it was sticking to.
He added: “We realise that the South East is an important area for the offshore energy industry, being an established region for offshore gas and wind energy activity and a key area for the emerging offshore decommissioning sector.
“Establishing a base here is crucial in allowing us to access the rich network of fabricators and facilities available. We look forward to undertaking new, exciting projects here and to strengthening relations with the local supply chain. We strongly believe in supporting local UK businesses and are pleased to be extending our reach further south.”
Osbit Power has been active in the southern North Sea Offshore market since its inception four years ago, building relationships with Siemens, SSE and Scira Offshore. The company is currently engaged with several clients in the area regarding new contracts.