Balmoral Re-enters Subsea Polymer Market

Aberdeen-based energy to environmental manufacturing company, Balmoral Group, believes market demand exists for a major, UK, subsea polymer design and production business and has addressed this through the establishment of new division, Balmoral Offshore Engineering.

Balmoral Hitec Buoyancy provided the industry with subsea products for more than 20 years on high profile projects such as Girassol, Amethyst and Triton Ceiba, before withdrawing from the market in 2003 following a joint venture agreement with CRP Group.

However the recent acquisition of CRP by Swedish company, Trelleborg, brought the JV arrangement to an end and inspired chairman and MD, Jim Milne, and his team to move rapidly to meet this new demand.

Mr. Milne is bullish about the latest chapter in his company's history and said: "These are exciting times for the offshore energy industry and we are starting to see a number of the subsea projects predicted many years ago starting to come to fruition. This is leading to high levels of enquiries for buoyancy and elastomer products.

"With the growth in subsea activity we are in no doubt that there is a requirement for an independent UK global supplier and have been encouraged by many to return to the market at this time.

"Fortunately the wealth of technical, production and management experience created over the last 25 years has been retained within Balmoral and this will allow us to move back into the market very quickly."

Scottish Enterprise Energy Team Director, Brian Nixon, said: "Developments like this, particularly among the bigger players in our supply chain, reflect the confident and progressive climate that is prevailing in the industry at the moment. New activity is good news in terms of investment, jobs and the long-term sustainability of the sector.

"This kind of announcement also underlines the anticipated growth in the subsea sector over the coming years. It is good to see yet another Scottish company contributing to our acknowledged strengths in this area of activity."

Balmoral Offshore Engineering is now putting in place the means to design, manufacture and test a wide range of products including rigid and dynamic riser buoyancy, surface and midwater buoyancy, ROV/AUV and umbilical flotation as well as a range of elastomer products including bend restrictors and stiffeners, riser and cable protection, VIV strakes, clamps and saddles.

Balmoral's hydrostatic test centre is also undergoing a major upgrade to provide a test capability to 4000m+ depth equivalent.

Capital investment has been allocated for the new business, as Milne explained: "We have space at our corporate HQ in Aberdeen to accommodate Balmoral Offshore Engineering's requirements and are currently installing new plant as well as recruiting for the business. Significant potential exists for new jobs in the short term with the longer term outlook looking even more promising.

"We aim to provide the industry with a single source for all its buoyancy and elastomer design and product needs. Our well-known team offers a wide range of design, engineering and manufacturing experience and, positioned alongside technical proficiency, on-time delivery and brand new processing plant, we will be operating on a worldwide basis.

"We look forward to seeing old and new friends alike at the forthcoming Oceanology and OTC exhibitions."