Giant expansion planned by Lerwick engineers

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Successful Shetland marine engineering company Ocean Kinetics is planning vast new premises in the old pipe yard opposite Lerwick Power Station.

The green and blue metal-clad workshop will take up most of the remaining space in the Port Business Park which is also home to the JRJ garage, Stronach’s Body Repairs and Cope Limited.

Ocean Kinetics’ managing director and founder John Henderson said the building, at 2,920 square metres, would be around three times the size of his existing base at the north end of the power station.

The company also rents workshop space at the Dales Voe base and has a small unit in Aberdeen which it is currently replacing with bigger premises.

Mr Henderson said the proposed expansion was part of the company’s plans to tackle the future and “get into the next century”.

The company has grown to have 45 employees, 40 of them in Shetland, and does work all over the UK, including contracts at Waverley railway station in Edinburgh and the ports of Felixstowe and Montrose.

Mr Henderson hopes better facilities and a more efficient operation in the new Lerwick building will put Ocean Kinetics in a better position to handle the work it gets, including contracts at Sullom Voe and the new Total gas plant.

As well as work in oil and gas, fish farming and general engineering there is the prospect of potential future contracts in renewable energy, in particular work relating to the Viking Energy windfarm if it goes ahead. The company designed and built a tidal power machine for a Swedish company.

The new Lerwick premises will include 99 parking spaces and an engineering shop selling nuts and bolts, pipework and, as Mr Henderson said, “anything you need to fix up your hurlie”.

Plans for the development passed through Lerwick Community Council on Monday without attracting comment.

If the council grants planning permission and the building goes ahead Mr Henderson does not know yet what will happen with his old building, which he said might be kept on, possibly for a new Ocean Kinetics enterprise, or leased or sold.

Ocean Kinetics started out in Lerwick in 1992 and has blossomed into one of Shetland’s top companies, winning awards for its investment in training young people.

It styles itself as a one-stop shop for any engineering task but mainly carries out marine repair and corrosion prevention, metal works and fabrication, welding, pipework and design.


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