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First Subsea to expand Aberdeen operations after securing offshore wind contracts worth £12m

© Boskalisoffshore wind pipeline 400GW
The Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm

First Subsea is to expand its north-east operations after securing a number of major offshore wind contracts.

With the support of UK Export Finance (UKEF), the firm — part of Aberdeen-headquartered First Tech, owned by businessman Ian Suttie — has bagged more than £12 million worth of export orders to supply offshore wind farms.

The contracts cover work across Europe and Asia-Pacific.

It comes as First Subsea, which designs and manufactures cable protection systems (CPS) for offshore wind farms, continues its transition into renewables markets.

To help the Lancaster-headquartered firm fulfil the orders, UKEF provided Virgin Money with an 80% guarantee on bonds.

On the back of the news, First Subsea is now growing its renewables-focused strategy, expanding its UK operations in both Lancaster and Aberdeen.

Steven Brown, group finance director at First Tech, said: “The support from UKEF and Virgin Money has enabled us to not only complete vital projects but will enable First Subsea Ltd to execute far more projects concurrently.

“The process in getting the facility in place was exceptionally well managed and we look forward to working with both teams moving forwards.

“The First Subsea Ltd business continues to grow at a rapid pace and certainly the support from UKEF and Virgin Money will help facilitate the execution of our ambitious growth strategy.”

Other significant offshore wind contract winds for First Subsea include a deal to carry out platform mooring connection work for the Kincardine Offshore Floating Wind Farm.

The development off the coast of Aberdeen is currently in the final stages of construction.

Meanwhile, in 2017 the firm signed a multi-million pound contract to provide CPS for Orsted’s Hornsea Project One.

It was First Subsea’s original major UK renewables contract.

Through UKEF, the UK government is helping companies to export their world leading expertise in the offshore wind sector.

Export opportunities for the UK’s low-carbon sector are estimated to be more than £60 billion by 2030.

Minister for exports, Graham Stuart MP, said: “We are lucky to have the best credit agency in the world, and UKEF stands ready to help more Scottish exporters like First Subsea win big contracts overseas. UKEF is helping us accelerate the transition to clean energy, which will bring prosperity and a wide range of sustainable jobs to Scotland.

“The recently-published Green Trade report from the Board of Trade highlights how vital free trade will be in helping the UK and the world build back greener from the pandemic, and this support is just one example of the work we do to ensure this outcome.”

Alastair McMillan, UKEF export development manager for Scotland, added: “It’s great to see more UK companies export their unique products and services to help drive sustainability. First Subsea shows how British companies are increasingly at the vanguard of the global transition to renewable energy and UKEF is here to make sure UK exporters have the financing they need to export.”

Andy Tait, director, regional banking, North & East Scotland at Virgin Money, said: “First Subsea has been a customer of Virgin Money for a number of years and we’ve supported its growth aspirations as it has moved into the renewables sector. With sustainability high on the agenda, First Subsea’s world leading CPS technology will continue to play a key role in their continued growth in area.”

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