INTERVIEW: Impact Subsea, New Player on the Market
Newly established subsea company, Impact Subsea, developer of products for Oil and Gas, Renewables and the Underwater Scientific industry introduced themselves to the market recently.
The Aberdeen-based company, and a member of Subsea UK, already signed its first contract with Chinese firm Qingdao Hisun for the distribution of their products which will be introduced to the market in Q3 2015. Subsea World News spoke to Benedict Grant, Managing Director of Impact Subsea about the company’s establishment and future plans in the business.
Since Impact Subsea is a fairly new company, could you introduce the company to our readers?
Benedict Grant: We are a new start-up company in the subsea sector. We started approximately two months ago with two founding directors. There is myself and Alastair Mclennan-Murray. Alastair is our technical director, and I am managing director. We have both worked in the subsea sector for the past decade. During that time we have each worked for various companies, but we have always been designing and creating products for underwater use, typically used with ROVs and AUVs.
Around a year ago, we started talking about setting up a company and a couple of months ago the timing seemed right. We both made ourselves available to set up the company, and right now we are focusing on product development, and getting our first products launched later this year. We expect to launch our first products in Q3 this year.
We are also focusing on getting the company built up, so it is got the infrastructure and capabilities to support the products once they are launched in the market.
You plan to launch the first product line in Q3 2015, could you tell us a little bit more, what will be the main products?
Benedict Grant: The company’s focus is on sensors and instrumentation for underwater use. Our main target market is the oil and gas sector, but we also address various applications in the renewables sector and the underwater scientific markets.
The sensors that we are creating are to sense various properties of the water or to provide various readings for the ROVs or AUVs to enable them to perform certain tasks.
The exact sensors that we are developing, we have not disclosed that information yet, because we are waiting until the products are a little bit further along the development path. Once we have finished products that are actually ready to show people, then we’ll start telling people in depth what we are doing.
Not so long ago you became a member of Subsea UK, what does that represent to you, and how important is it for your company?
Benedict Grant: Subsea UK is the main industry body within the UK for all the companies within the subsea sector. It is a excellent organisation to become a member of, especially for small start-up companies such as ourselves. The organisation can be very helpful and provides an excellent networking platform.
According to the recent news that we have published, Impact Subsea has signed a distribution agreement with Chinese Qingdao Hisun, could you tell us something about that?
Benedict Grant: A lot of our business is going to be in Europe, that is our home territory. However, we also realized that China has a growing subsea market with large potential. There is sometimes hesitancy from companies of the west to enter into China – due to intellectual property concerns, but realistically your equipment will always end up in China one way or another. We think that is a good market to get into and one that could become quite large for our company in time.
Are you planning further expansion beyond the Chinese market, and what would be the next step?
Benedict Grant: We plan to take it one step at the time, but plan to establish a world-wide distributor network so we have other technical companies who can represent us and provide our products and also provide technical support for our products in different regions.
How do you plan to tackle the current tough situation on the market caused by tumbling oil prices?
Benedict Grant: Certainly this is a difficult time for companies in subsea sector. Especially for those purely focused on the oil and gas market. Oil and gas probably represents around 70% of our potential business, the other 30% comes from the renewables and scientific markets.
The way we are tackling it is with our products. The products are highly innovative, typically products which will provide more capability than what is available in comparable products today. The aim is to provide customers with the cost saving opportunity through the more technically innovative products.
Would you like to add something?
Benedict Grant: At the moment we’re partnering with other technology companies to assist us in our product development and we’re also forming various academic relationships to help take the latest academic research and apply to products in subsea sector. Through doing that we believe we can create a new range of highly innovative products that will ultimately provide cost saving solutions for our customer base – which is a key requirement of the oil and gas sector right now.