An innovative Scottish company has announced plans to open two new overseas bases to cope with soaring demand for its revolutionary subsea excavation tools.
Aberdeen-based Rotech Subsea has enjoyed six years of steady growth, but is braced for dramatic expansion thanks a flood of orders from international clients who have seen the benefits of its pioneering technology.
The company is predicting sales to grow by 40 per cent in 2008 at the same time as it opens new bases in Mexico and Singapore.
Rotech Subsea was launched in 2001 in Aberdeen when Rotech Group Directors Ken Stewart and Hector Susman designed and patented the company’s unique “T” excavation system, which are now recognised as the world’s leading “Mass Flow” subsea excavation tools.
The tools work by using two counter-rotating propellers to channel a powerful flow of water downwards to clear subsea material, rocks and mud in a process called ‘mass flow excavation’. Technicians use live sonar feedback to adjust power levels and as there’s no physical contact with the sea floor or structures, there’s little risk of damage.
Previously, the alternative was to use cumbersome dredging equipment and costly support vessels which meant some jobs took up to five times longer with the added risk of damaging seabed installations or pipelines.
The “T” system range of tools offers businesses, particularly those in the oil and gas sector, a faster, cost-effective option to tackle a range excavation applications such as pipeline/cable burial, pipeline de-burial for maintenance, wellhead clearance, rock dump removal, decommissioning work, sand wave levelling, hurricane repair work, harbour deepening and mud removal.
In one specialist project, the company cleared tonnes of seabed material that had piled onto a collapsed rig which had sunk more than 70ft in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Ivan.
Rotech Subsea now enjoys constant repeat business and an ever-growing customer base in countries including Mexico, USA, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, East Russia, Venezuela and the UK.
Company President Kenneth R. Mackie said the potential of the “T” excavation system is now being increasingly recognised across the world – underpinning the company’s continued impressive growth.
He said: “We have enjoyed immense success across all areas of the business. We started as a small business in a very specialist sector – and now we are the world leaders in our field with customers from across the globe.
“Turnover in our first year was £125,000 and we employed three people. Turnover in the last financial year exceeded £10million and our workforce is in excess of 70 and is still growing to meet demand – sales are expected to surge by around 40 per cent in 2008 as our order book continues to grow. We’ll complete around 28 major projects in 2007, but in 2008 that’s expected to be upwards of 40, with the size and scale of these contracts also getting bigger.
“Side-by-side with this growth has been the expansion of the business. We’ve operated out of purpose-built facilities in Houston, Texas, for the past 18 months and now will be looking to open new bases in Mexico and Singapore in the next six months. In the near future, we are also looking to open bases in Australia, Dubai and Brazil to cater for clients needs in these areas.”
Kenneth added: “Rotech Subsea is a great success story. We have a superb product which our ever-growing client base is very happy to use because it not only provides a solution to a wide range of challenges, but delivers the job cheaper, faster and more effectively than what existed before.
“But despite our successes, we have been very conscious about not standing still, that’s why the number of spreads of our tools have increased from two to 15, with seven more in development. In addition we listen to challenges that our clients are experiencing and we have newly designed tools in production geared to offer a practical and cost effective solution to specific needs.”
Richard Beattie, recently promoted Operations Director, added: “Early projections for the Singapore expansion could see Rotech Subsea employing 20 people within 12 months of opening, such is buoyancy of the Asia Pacific marketplace. Oil and gas companies need subsea excavation work to extend the lifeline of oil fields and there are also 27 new oil and gas blocks in development in the region.”
Richard added: “Purchasing budgets in the Asia Pacific are at an all-time high and the type of work being done is perfect for our mass flow excavation equipment.
“There are so many opportunities in the Indian Ocean, the China Sea and all other areas in Asia Pacific we really need to have a base in the region to ensure we are there to take advantage of these and assist all the potential clients there.
“That’s the same principal that is underlining our planned move into the other regions. We see the next three-five years as being very exciting for Rotech Subsea.”