US demolition and decommissioning specialist Bluegrass has set up a new UK subsidiary, with operations in Aberdeenshire and Great Yarmouth.
The move is expected to create five jobs initially in offices at Kintore but it is hoped growing demand for decommissioning services will lead to a move to larger premises and additional recruitment in the north-east.
Eddie Grant, who spent nearly seven years as managing director of Cutting Underwater Technologies in Aberdeen and 18 months in the same role at Norse Cutting and Abandonment at Dyce, has been appointed to lead the new UK business.
He is now managing director of Bluegrass Offshore and Nuclear and Decommissioning Services (Bonds) and has already begun building new networks for the Alabama-based parent in Europe. Bluegrass, which also has offices in Houston, Texas, boasts more than 30 years of specialist diamond wire-cutting experience in nuclear and petrochemical markets.
More recently, it has become increasingly involved in the oil and gas sector.
It has already completed more than 300 jobs for North Sea operators Apache, ChevronTexaco and BP, and been involved in post-hurricane restoration work in the Gulf of Mexico.
A spokesman for the firm said yesterday that Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth were ideal bases for new European operations, adding that Bluegrass was ready to grow its international reputation despite global economic pressures.
Contracts won by the new business will initially be supported by the parent but there are plans to, before the year-end, begin recruitment of local technicians and administrative staff in readiness for future expansion.
Mr Grant, who before joining Bluegrass was decommissioning manager at energy service group Weatherford in the north-east, said the new UK business marked a major investment by the US firm in the face of the current economic climate.
He added that it also showed the company’s intentions to be a global provider of specialist diamond wire-cutting.
He said: “I am hopeful that our operations in Aberdeenshire and Great Yarmouth will create the opportunity to generate employment and further investment in these two strategically important locations.”
Bonds has already become a member of UK energy business-development organisation NOF Energy as it prepares for its assault on the European market.
It has also joined the East of England Energy Group and registered with First Point Assessment, an oil and gas supply-chain database for the UK and the Netherlands. In addition, Bonds will have a stand at the Offshore Europe oil and gas conference in Aberdeen this autumn.