A NORTH-EAST engineering firm announced a £2million contract win yesterday.
Alfred Cheyne Engineering (ACE Winches) was awarded the work by international drilling contractor KCA Deutag and Marlin Offshore International.
The contract includes the design, manufacture and commissioning of four replacement 75-tonne double-drum anchor mooring winches and hydraulic power unit packages for Marlin’s rig Searex X, which is operating in west Africa.
ACE said the order increased its manufacturing order book to £4million-plus for the first half of 2009.
It said turnover in the financial year to the end of October was more than £10million, a 20% uplift on the previous year’s sales.
ACE, which employs 110 people, is also forecasting manufacturing and hire sales for the current year of £12.5million.
Earlier this year, the company said its £4million investment in new headquarters five miles south of Turriff would create 80 jobs.
The group is to shift its two operations – at Montbletton, near Banff, and Turriff – to the site of the former Howegarden factory at Pitdoulzie, just off the A947 Aberdeen-Turriff road.
All employees at ACE, which was established in 1993, will move to the new 24-acre site – to be known as the Towie Barclay Works – following a £2.2million redevelopment.
The company has already spent £1.8million on acquiring the land and buildings, most recently used by vegetable processor and distributor Truxplus and previously by carrot producer Howegarden.
ACE says the move will allow the continued development and growth of the company’s hire fleet and marine services to both domestic and international clients.
Managing director Alfie Cheyne said: “Our organic company growth has laid a firm solid foundation for the future development of the company and the Towie Barclay base right in the centre of Aberdeenshire will allow us a platform to realise our short and medium growth plans.
“It is projected that a further 80 jobs will be created over the next 36 months. In 2003, the company employed only 25 staff.
“The move to this site was a strategic decision taken on the basis that its location is within a comfortable 22-mile commuting distance of Ellon, Inverurie, Oldmeldrum, Fras-erburgh, Mintlaw, Turriff, Banff, Huntly and Keith to attract further industry professionals to the company.”
It is anticipated that the new facility will be fully operational within 18 months.