UK: ROVOP Invests Over GBP 2 Million in Two New ROVs

UK: ROVOP Invests Over GBP 2 Million in Two New ROVs

Award-winning energy services company ROVOP has bolstered its rapid growth by investing in two new innovative ROVs (remotely-operated vehicles) to add to its fleet of high-performance vehicles.

Both new ROVs, which represent an investment of more than £2million, are powerful vehicles for the subsea sector with each capable of operating in deep and shallow waters as well as environmentally challenging high currents.

The ROVs are both SAAB Seaeye Panther XT Plus light work class systems. These state-of-the-art systems are new models boasting some of the latest advances in ROV technology. Capable of 4 knots, the systems have features usually associated with more costly hydraulic systems, such as two powerful and dextrous Schilling robotic manipulator arms.

One of these ROVs offers the most highly-specified ROV system that manufacturer SAAB Seaeye has ever produced including a full pipeline survey capability, as well as a heavy duty launch system, a tether management system and zone rating to operate in hazardous areas. This system underwent extensive sea-trials with the full pipeline survey spread during May.

The second Panther XT Plus is a free-swimming, crane-launched system that is able to fit into small spaces on vessels and rigs – this provides ROV power and capability not normally available from areas where space is at a premium.

The latest assets mean that ROVOP, which is headquartered in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, has invested more than £3million within four months in its fleet. The one-year-old company also recently acquired a Cougar XT ROV from Saab Seaeye.

 Steven Gray, managing director at award-winning new start-up business ROVOP in Westhill, said: “The significant new additions to our fast-growing fleet of ROVs reflect our need for the most reliable, capable and powerful ROVs in their class. The Panther XT Plus’s power, communications and ability to carry out tasks such as pipeline surveys, as well as inspections and repairs, provides a more cost effective solution for clients.

 “ROVOP’s fleet of vehicles offer the very latest in reliability and advanced technology available to the subsea market and which can operate in very challenging environments, both in oil & gas and offshore wind. The ability to operate the most modern and capable ROV fleet is vital to fulfil contracts available to us in the global subsea market.”

Mr Gray, who is promoting ROVOP’s new fleet of ROVs at ONS in Norway, said: “We are seeing significant growth in challenging subsea environments, such as deep-water and offshore wind farms, where strong currents and constant scouring provide a completely different set of challenges to our clients.

 “The Norwegian market presents a variety of challenges for ROVs. There is a requirement for inspection and maintenance of mature subsea infrastructure as well as construction relating to the ongoing investment in new fields. Norway has a wide variety of water depths and demanding sea conditions. ROVOP shares much of the typical Norwegian approach of using the best available technology and not making compromises on equipment standards. This makes Norway a key target market for ROVOP.”

ROVOP specialises in the supply of state-of-the-art ROV solutions to the offshore oil & gas and renewable industries, where its unmanned underwater vehicles are used to complete tasks and gather information underwater.

Operating in a niche area, the business provides first-class equipment and pilot technicians to ensure ROV projects are delivered safely and efficiently. ROVOP is unique in that it is 100% focused on ROV services and therefore provides genuine expert capability.

Managing director of Saab Seaeye, Dave Grant, said: “It has been a pleasure working with ROVOP, an ambitious dynamic company which recognised that Saab Seaeye could offer them a range of ROV systems to operate in their target market areas and provide them with very high reliability and performance enhancements.

 “Exceptionally high horizontal thrust, sophisticated manipulator arm capability and full survey capability with a low acoustic noise underwater vehicle – all in compact and cost effective system solutions – has provided these performance enhancements.”

Within a year of trading, ROVOP’s rapid growth has already seen the company win Promising New Business at the 2012 Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise as well as being named a finalist for Best New Enterprise at Subsea UK’s 2012 business awards. The company’s growth is also highlighted by the increase in personnel to more than 30 within nine months.

Last month (July), it was announced that ROVOP had secured more than £8million in funding. This includes up to £5m from the Scottish Loan Fund and £3m from other sources including £60,000 in public sector funding to support its business growth and expansion overseas. The cash boost from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International will help ROVOP to both explore international business growth opportunities and undertake business improvement activities. Specifically, the money will allow the hiring of a manager for international business development opportunities.

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Offshore WIND staff, August 29, 2012; Image: bigpartnership

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