Elaine Maslin, 21st June 2012
A Fort William-based subsea diver-training firm has completed its largest contract after signing an £825,000 deal with a construction firm.
The Underwater Centre, which has a school at the head of Loch Linnhe and another in Tasmania, said it had trained 17 Russian divers for MRTS, who spent nine weeks at the Beauty Point facility in Australia.
MRTS Managing Director Alexander Kolikov said: “Oil and gas firms in Russia are currently facing a skills shortage due to the rapidly increasing amount of exploration work underway at the moment. By investing in the training of our divers in saturation diving, we are addressing this need for experts in maintenance and repair activities vital to maintaining Russia’s subsea infrastructure.”
Steve Ham, general manager at the Fort William Centre said: “The subsea industry in Russia is definitely on the up and, as a result, there is going to be an increased need for divers who are trained in all aspects of the job. MRTS and The Underwater Centre both strive for the highest levels in health and safety and I think this is very important as organisations in this region try to meet the needs of the industry.”
The Underwater Centre’s Tasmania general manager Allan Brown described the contract as “fantastic news”, not just for The Underwater Centre, but the local economy as a whole.
“The Russian contingent was an excellent team of men to work with – very professional and hard working, but the fact that we could teach them in Russian was a real bonus,” he said.
“We must give credit to MRTS who have decided to ensure their divers are trained in the level of skill and safety that we deliver here in Australia. Securing this contract will help us to develop our relationship with the Russian subsea industry and this will continue to grow as word of our world-class reputation continues to spread.”