Safety's key for offshore design team

PUBLISHED: 14:06 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:59 03 July 2010

A GROWING offshore design, engineering and fabrication business expects turnover to top £10m this year and plans to branch out into specialist safety training.

A GROWING offshore design, engineering and fabrication business expects turnover to top £10m this year and plans to branch out into specialist safety training.

CLS Offshore, which employs about 180 people at Yarmouth, a Lowestoft workshop, Bacton gas site and at a number of offshore sites, offers a wide range of services to the gas, oil and renewable sectors.

These services include derrick installation and decommissioning, structural and piping fabrication, rope access, power station maintenance and labour supply.

Clients include industry leaders BP, Shell, and Perenco.

The business has seen year-on-year growth of turnover for five years, rising steadily from £850,000 in 2004 to a projected £10.5m for this financial year. Managing director Steve Johnson said plans were in hand that could see turnover exceed £15m in the next two to three years.

An expansion to an Aberdeen site is on the agenda, while a £200,000 investment in a working-at-height training facility in Yarmouth looks set to allow training both within the business and clients.

Fabrication of boat landing stations on offshore platforms and maintenance or upgrades of aging platforms were typical jobs being undertaken.

A level of project postponement among some clients had slowed the industry slightly, but that was work which would have to be done at some stage - so next year could be “doubly as busy”, said Mr Johnson.

“There are still years and years of work out there in the oil and gas industry,” added finance director Sid Anverali.

“When a rig is closed down completely, the sea bed has to be left as it was - so over the years and decades there will also be a lot of final decommissioning work on platforms.”

Meanwhile, although the emerging renewable market was currently a “very small” part of the CLS business, it was set to grow significantly with the current skills within the business easily transferable from the more traditional gas and oil market.

“We are ready to go with the renewables side of things and could do it tomorrow,” said Mr Anverali.

The working at height training facility is due to see its first courses next month, with external work in the form of retraining offenders, people coming out of the construction industry and the armed forces among potential clients.

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