AN international oilfield specialist has expanded its operations in the North East.
Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn met workers as he opened the office and workshop for Wellclad at Burford Way, Boldon, South Tyneside, in an investment worth more than £325,000 that will create more than 20 jobs.
As part of a major growth plan, the company has moved from a 2,000sq ft area within BEL Valves’ headquarters in Newcastle to a site covering some 15,000sq ft.
Wellclad, which is the focus of parent company Glacier Energy Services engineering division, has doubled its staff from eight to 16 to coincide with the move to its new base, with that figure set to rise to 30 in the course of the year.
The move is the second major investment Glacier has made in the region in less than a year, following its offshore division’s buy-out of Blyth-based Site Machining Services (SMS) in summer 2012. SMS has since grown from 15 to 22 employees.
Wellclad make weld overlay to improve the service life of oil and gas subsea components used in harsh offshore environments.
George Leggate, managing director of Glacier’s engineering division and co-founder of Wellclad, said: “Securing this site has allowed us to focus on really pushing the business forward, bringing new jobs to the area and delivering an economic boost to Boldon through our investment.
“Our strategic partnerships and working relationship with key North East clients continue, with our rising market potential prompting the move to acquire our own workshop and office facility.
“Having already doubled our team here, and with significant new business opportunities currently in negotiations, we aim to open up new posts to the community later this year as we cement our footprint in the North East.”
George Rafferty, chief executive of business development organisation NOF Energy, joined Alex Lamb of BEL Valves and Mark Gill of fluid management firm National Oilwell Varco, to tour the facility with Mr Hepburn.
“This is good news for the region and especially good news for South Tyneside,” said Mr Hepburn. “I am delighted that this substantial flagship investment will bring new jobs to the local area and help boost the North East economy.
“It was a pleasure to visit Glacier Energy Services and officially open the North East base of its Wellclad business in Boldon. I was very impressed with the plans of Glacier Energy Services and I wish the company well for the future.”
Glacier Energy Services’ combined business operations has a turnover of more than £10m following its formation in 2011, with over 100 staff working across the UK and international markets from its operational bases Newcastle, Aberdeen and Glasgow.
Backed by private equity providers Maven Capital Partners and the Simmons Parallel Energy Fund, Glacier relocated its headquarters to premises at Clyde Gateway East, Glasgow, opened by Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing in 2012.