In just four years, Ardent Global has evolved from being solely focused on emergency management services and wreck removal to a company that has also expanded into the offshore decommissioning and the subsea sector.
Growth of the Houston-headquartered firm will accelerate further following its buyout from co-owners Svitzer and Crowley Maritime Corporation by its senior management, supported by German private-equity investor Aurelius Finance Company for an undisclosed amount.
Based in Aberdeen, Stuart Martin, director of Ardent’s Decom Group, said he was “hugely excited” about the future, saying: “Since 2015, we have put the foundations in place for success and growing the business. Management see Ardent as a vehicle that can grow quickly.”
Ardent was originally created to provide emergency management solutions to the maritime industry, including wreck removal.
Its most publicised project was the raising of the Costa Concordia liner, which crashed and sank off the coast of Italy in January 2014, killing 32. It remains one of the largest and riskiest wreck removal and salvage operations ever.
Decom done differently
The company, which has offices in the US, the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia, has diversified its services to include offshore decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure, as well as subsea services.
Mr Martin’s career has come full circle from commissioning assets in the early 1980s to now decommissioning the same assets.
“We come from a salvage background and offer different technologies and very different commercial models,” he said.
“With our decom consortium partners, Worley and Lloyd’s Register, we have the aspiration of being the go-to or prime engineering, procurement, removal, dismantling (EPRD) contracting entity for all operators.”
As a technology developer, Ardent has created the Archimedes system, an external buoyancy caisson system for the removal of jackets. It does not require quayside remodelling and deepwater dredging, and is an attractive and cost-effective option for dismantling yards. Supported by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, the design of the delivery mechanism is based on multiple criteria including jacket numbers, water depth and weight range, and can be further adjusted for jacket or environment specific conditions.
From seabed to shore
From unexploded ordnance to the removal of cables from the seabed, Ardent will further exploit its expertise in handling subsea structures to advise the industry on the most appropriate vessel, diver or ROV-based solution.
With financial backing from Aurelius and co-operation with Svitzer and Crowley, business and team growth are firmly top of Ardent’s agenda. Mr Martin said: “We need to grow the size of the team, we need to reinforce our reputation, we need to further develop quickly the products and services that we are offering. Having such committed investors and industry backing will give us the additional momentum to realise our aspirations and goals.”
Ardent chief executive Peter Pietka will continue to lead the company with the same team, assets and growth plan.