A subsea services company based in the north-east of England has launched its new control room, the result of £24 million worth of investment.
Modus, which is aiming to pioneer the next generation of subsea robotics, welcomed International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Darlington MP Peter Gibson to officially open the facility.
Based at the company’s headquarters in Darlington, the state-of-the-art control centre allows for the international deployment and operation of hybrid autonomous underwater vehicles (HAUVs).
Modus has developed the application of fully automated, low cost, carbon-zero inspection and maintenance services using subsea HAUVs to map underwater topography and inspect pipelines, cabling and undersea structures.
These vehicles combine the characteristics of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), which is linked to the surface, and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), which can operate without such a connection.
The investment includes four HAUV’s, two of which are in service, with the third and fourth to be delivered in October and next year.
Ms Trevelyan, who got the chance to remotely pilot one of the vehicles around the port of Sunderland, said: “It’s been fantastic to have the chance to discover the extraordinary work in underwater drone technology that Modus has been leading on. It’s genuinely world-leading, UK-first technology and I’m so proud that it’s here in Darlington
“There’s amazing, brilliant leadership in this sector and Modus is absolutely leading the way. It’s so exciting to hear the opportunities that are coming forward for this technology, and I want to make sure that it’s heard around the world: ‘made in Darlington, sold to the world’. This is where the new technology started and it will be central to the UK’s leadership in underwater technology in the decades ahead.”
Nick Tompkins, chief executive of Modus, said: “We are extremely proud of our work at Modus, investing to develop world-leading capabilities to supply global markets, from our base right here in the North East.
“The technological capability we are offering to the offshore and subsea sectors provides a greener, more cost-effective and higher quality product than those currently available. It was a pleasure to showcase the ingenuity of Modus to both the Secretary of State and our local MP, Peter Gibson.”
Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, said: “The headquarters here in Darlington make me incredibly proud and there are tremendous opportunities from a military, oil and gas and a whole subsea perspective that will be fantastic for our region.”