KIRKWALL diving service and marine construction firm Leask Marine has made its largest investment to date to meet the needs of the wave and tidal-energy sector.
Founder and owner Dougie Leask says his £3million investment in a new vessel will make a major contribution to doubling the firm’s £1.2million turnover in the coming year.
Seeing specialist boats being chartered and brought up to Orkney for use by developers installing and working on their machines, Leask spotted a gap in the market for a locally based vessel.
With the help of a £1.6million loan, last December he ordered the 85-foot multi-worker marine renewables support vessel C-Odyssey from a Dutch yard, which arrived in July.
Mr Leask said: “It has been really busy since we got it and it will double our turnover between this year and next. Marine renewables has picked up from last year and is a fast expanding business.
“Vessels with bigger lifting capability and dynamic positioning are being used, but they come in at half a million (pounds) a time to use. If I can do it for half of that . . .”
He made specific requirements for the vessel, including a remote-control 60.6ft reach crane capable of lifting 5.5 tonnes at full reach.
C-Odyssey adds to the firm’s diving work, including managing the fierce tides in the Falls of Warness; usually a no-go area for shipping.
“For us it is about being local and having local knowledge,” he said. “Tidal sites are the biggest challenge, but that is really good for us.”
Leask Marine started out in marine civil construction and maintenance, in 1985.