Offshore support vessel operator Sentinel Marine has announced it will create 80 new jobs with the order of three new ships.
Sentinel is investing around £36m in the state-of-the-art emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs) which will come into service by the end of 2020.
The ships – Cromarty Sentinel, Trafalgar Sentinel and Viking Sentinel – are being constructed at a shipyard in China and will take Sentinel’s total workforce on and offshore to around 400.
The new additions are primarily for the safety of offshore workers but can be used for other tasks like oil recovery.
Sentinel, whose fleet is contracted by a number of operators including Equinor and Nexen, said the investment comes amid increased activity in the North Sea.
Chief executive Rory Deans said: “The three new build multi-role ERRVs will be delivered throughout 2020 and will create employment for another 80 seafarers, bringing our total workforce to around 400 on and offshore.
“This is a speculative investment by Sentinel Marine, based on the significant demand there has been for our fleet of high-specification custom-build vessels which we have introduced on a rolling programme since 2015.
“There has been an increase in activity in the North Sea over the past 12 months, and there is certainly a market for vessels of this standard.
“The multi-role nature of the ships, together with the technology on board, age and efficiency, offer an attractive proposition to operators and have been very well received.”
The firm placed an order for nine new ships in 2015 and will take delivery of the final vessel from that contract – Malin Sentinel – in April.
Sentinel recently relocated to new offices at The Exchange on Market Street in Aberdeen due to growth in staff numbers.