Energy services firm Proserv has been backed to make a “huge difference” to the UK’s rapidly expanding offshore wind sector.
Renewables expert Hugh McNeal, who recently joined Proserv as a non-executive director, believes the north-east company has the potential to revolutionise the industry.
The firm’s pivot towards offshore wind comes at an opportune time, with multiple projects on course to materialise in the coming years.
Already Proserv has landed contracts for ECG – its holistic subsea cable monitoring system – with some of the industry’s biggest players.
Billed as a game changer for the offshore wind sector, the technology has already received industrial sponsorship from ScottishPower Renewables.
It will also be used on Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind development, after Proserv secured a contract earlier this year.
Reasons behind move to Proserv
ECG has the ability to “extend the life of wind farms” and “significantly improve their performance” by reducing the impact of cable faults.
And Mr McNeal, former chief executive of trade body RenewableUK, says Proserv’s technology, which has long been used in oil and gas, was a key driver in his decision to join the firm.
He said: “The offshore wind market is very competitive. If you are a technology, engineering and innovation based business, as Proserv is, and you can pivot your technology, expertise and people into offshore wind to give companies an advantage, then it’s fantastic. That’s why I’m involved.”
He added: “There are oil and gas companies that are moving into renewables that say they don’t need any help and aren’t forming any partnerships. That lands badly in the renewables sector.
“Proserv didn’t need me to tell them that isn’t a good way of doing business because it already understood that. We’re testing things all the time, and I really love that.”
Global Offshore Wind 2022
Announced last week, Mr McNeal’s unveiling as Proserv’s newest board member comes ahead of Global Offshore Wind 2022, which kicks off in Manchester today.
Numerous green energy firms will gather at the conference to discuss how the sector can accelerate its expansion to help deliver net zero.
For its part, Proserv is going through a transition of its own, something Mr McNeal has been tasked with helping to deliver.
McNeal a ‘tremendous asset’
Davis Larssen, CEO of Proserv Controls, said it was crucial the company drafted in someone of “huge calibre” to support its ambitions.
He said: “We’re going to present the next update of our five-year strategic plan in August, and I’m really excited to have Hugh as part of that conversation and evaluation, to help us validate and test the areas that we want to go into.
“We didn’t have that at the board level before and we now have it in spades. That awareness, exposure and experience – that’s what we were very keen to bring in with Hugh.”
As part of a top level shake up sparked by Mc McNeal’s appointment, Mr Larssen will shortly join the board as chief executive of Proserv.
Current group chief executive David Currie will also become chairman of the board for Proserv, as well as Houston-based sister business Gilmore Valves.
He said: “We’re an innovative, technology company and we sit here thinking we’re adding value for customers. But what we need is people from a different viewpoint at the same space, which is exactly what Hugh is, to tell us when we’re not doing that.
“For me, that addition that Hugh gives us, which is an alternative voice, is a tremendous asset.”