Subsea construction firm Ocean Installer said yesterday it would still press ahead with rapid expansion plans in Aberdeen despite the collapse of an alliance with a major US group.
The company said it remained on track to increase its Granite City workforce to 80 by the end of this year after agreeing with engineering and construction company McDermott International to end their partnership.
The pair were expected to increase capacity and competition for North Sea projects currently dominated by Subsea 7 and Technip, but Ocean Installer said the alliance “was no longer the most suitable solution for advancing Ocean Installer’s capacities”, while McDermott said the opportunities it expected had not emerged.
Martin Sisley, the Norwegian firm’s UK managing director, said the company had gone from no Aberdeen employees to nearly 70 in just under a year, adding: “This has no impact whatsoever for our growth plans in Aberdeen.
“We are winning projects and doing some exciting work offshore right now, and we have other projects to get started on in the UK North Sea as well.”
Mr Sisley added Ocean Installer might look at larger offices in Aberdeen next year as its workforce continued to expand and it began to outgrow its Bridge of Don offices.
McDermott said the relationship between the business and Ocean Installer remained amicable, but added: “Opportunities under the alliance have not materialised and in recent months it has become apparent that the long-term strategic aims of both companies are not aligned.”
The firm said it was still committed to a return to the North Sea, however. It employs about 100 people in Surrey, plus a small team in Aberdeen.
Chief executive Stephen Johnson said McDermott would add to its assets as part of its drive to grow its activities in the subsea market, adding that it might enter other partnerships in the future to help build the UK business.