Subsea Expo 2015: Award winners revealed

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Energy services firm Proserv was crowned company of the year at an awards ceremony celebrating outstanding achievements in the UK subsea industry last night.

The gala Subsea UK Business Awards was attended by over 850 people at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) following the first day of the industry body’s annual conference.

Judges for the awards scheme hailed “key milestones” for Proserv in the last 12 months, including a series of high-profile contract awards across the globe, expanding its manufacturing facilities and launching a “game-changing” subsea technology.

Proserv also secured “major investment” when it was acquired by US private equity firm,  Riverstone.

David Lamont, chief executive at Proserv, said: “It is a real privilege to win this award particularly during what has been a very challenging time for the industry.

“Against this backdrop, we have continued to evolve through a robust business strategy focused upon building on our market-leading position, track record and delivery of world-class products and services.”

The award for outstanding contribution to the subsea industry was handed to commercial diving veteran, Alf Leadbitter, from the Underwater Centre in Fort William.

Mr Leadbitter’s career spans more than 50 years as a diver, dive supervisor, instructor and assessor. He has worked at The Underwater Centre for more than 30 years, the last ten of which have been as a diver training authority.

Mr Leadbitter said: “I feel absolutely honoured and privileged to have won this award; to be acknowledged in such a way for doing a job that I enjoy so much is very special indeed. I’ve been lucky to have a career that has required me to travel the globe, both as a diver and a trainer.”

Tracerco was selected for the Simmons & Co-sponsored Innovation & Technology award in recognition of the success of its “Discovery” technology, which has been hailed as a major break-through in subsea pipeline inspection. Oil companies using the technology can non-intrusively inspect complex subsea flowlines for both flow assurance issues and integrity flaws from the outside of the pipe without removing any protective and insulation coatings.

Lee Robins, Tracero’s head of subsea services, said: “Our ethos is to strive for technical excellence in order to add value to our customers, and Discovery is an excellent example of how our research and development team is able to work with our customers to create a technology solution that overcomes their most significant challenges.”

Express Engineering Oil & Gas secured the global exports awardl. The company has a number of global frame agreements for subsea products and regularly exports to Malaysia, Brazil, Norway, Singapore, USA, Azerbaijan, Angola and Nigeria. Its export revenues have grown from £6.9milllion to £19million in the last three years.

The new enterprise award was presented to ToolTec. Formed in 2013, the firm has four employees and seven major subsea companies as clients. Over the past 12 months, ToolTec has doubled its workshop and now has a large storage yard and tank testing for subsea equipment.

Alan Muirhead of Ingen Ideas scooped the emerging young talent gong. Having joined the company as a graduate, Mr Muirhead assumed a mentoring role for graduates at Ingen Ideas. His technical contribution to the business and his dedication to the next generation of engineers were also recognised by the judges.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: “The number and standard of entries we received for this year’s awards would surprise many who were unaware of the numerous success stories we have had over the past 12 months.

“There have been some wonderful achievements in what has been a difficult period for many of our members. Times like these do present opportunities and the firms recognised tonight are amongst those that have the capacity to provide the innovation, talent and leadership to steer our industry through the challenges ahead.”