Almost £750,000 is being ploughed into the expansion of successful Shetland engineering firm Ocean Kinetics Ltd by state organisations, it was announced today.
Work has begun on a £2 million project to build new premises for the company at the Marina Business Park in Lerwick. The development will create 24 new jobs.
Ocean Kinetics provides a range of engineering services for the oil and gas, port services and renewable energy sectors. It has reached capacity on its existing site next to Lerwick Power Station and the investment will include new, larger, energy efficient premises, including offices, workshops and storage facilities. A designated training area will also be created to be used by apprentices in the various trades.
Funding of £240,000 and £500,000 is being provided by HIE and the Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) scheme respectively towards the total project costs. RSA is a national grant scheme available for capital expenditure projects taking place within Scotland which will create and safeguard jobs.
John Henderson, managing director of Ocean Kinetics, said: “We are delighted to have the ongoing support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise which has shared our ambitions to grow at every stage. The new facility is part of our growth plan which will allow the company to expand as new opportunities arise, a key element of this is the recruiting and the training of new staff to help alleviate the skills shortage locally.”
Mark Georgeson, HIE’s head of business support, works closely with OKL. He said: “The company is flexible and innovative in its approach to providing engineering services to a wide range of customers across the UK. OKL has an excellent reputation and our role is to continue to help management grow the company and provide high quality jobs in Shetland.”
He added: “Investment in the North Sea is forecast to increase in the next five years in oil and gas and marine renewables. We are already seeing significant investments in Shetland, a recent example being Total’s project to build a new gas plant at Sullom Voe. The initial work is worth in the region of £500 million and is part of an overall investment of £2 billion. Total has indicated they anticipate working with local firms on the project where possible.
“As a community Shetland has many of the required skills and expertise which will be needed to support the next stages of energy development in the North Sea. HIE is committed to continuing to work with our businesses and communities to provide support to maximise these fantastic opportunities.”
Ocean Kinetics’ main customers at present are BP and Fortum at the Sullom Voe Terminal, Aberdeen Harbour Board, Dover Harbour Board and Scottish Water.
The new building is expected to be completed by spring 2012.