Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has agreed the sale of an 800-ton carousel to Bibby Offshore Limited (BOL). Carousels are used in the storage and transportation of subsea cables, umbilicals, and pipes. They help enable the safe deployment of equipment from a vessel to the seabed.
Aberdeenshire-based ESS first diversified from its core seabed preparation and trenching services after identifying a supply chain issue regarding the availability of carousels needed for specialist subsea projects.
In 2013, ESS invested £2.5 million in the design and manufacture of the company’s first carousel as part of a lease and buy-back deal with a major utility company for use on a wind-farm construction project off the UK’s east coast.
The carousel may be further upgraded to provide a 2000-ton capability for Bibby Offshore, with the redesign and manufacture being managed by ESS at their fabrication facility in County Durham.
“A lack of availability of carousels, which were in high demand for traditional oil and gas and renewables projects prompted us to design and manufacture our own,” said ESS managing director, Mike Wilson.“It was a calculated risk at the time, but it has paid off and the strong performance track record of our carousel appealed to BOL, who are focused on expanding their offshore renewables service offering.”
Wilson added: “The carousel is well suited and proven on array offshore windfarm projects and we are hoping that in addition to the modification and sale of the carousel that we will be able to offer Bibby our other seabed clearance and preparation services SCAR ploughs and SCARJet, as and when there is a requirement.”
The carousel acquisition marks Bibby Offshore’s market entry in to the offshore wind array cable installation market and both companies have agreed to collaborate to develop other technologies and working methods which will reduce risk and lower costs to clients.
Fraser Moonie, chief operating officer of Bibby Offshore, said: “We are very excited by our entry into the cable lay market which strengthens our renewables offering in the North Sea. We have worked with ESS in the subsea market for more than a decade, and look forward to maintaining our strong relationship.”
Formed in 1996, ESS has evolved from a company specializing in subsea technology used in the oil and gas sector to meet the needs of the emerging renewables industry, particularly seabed clearance and trenching operations prior to cable laying for offshore wind farms and interconnectors.