Unique Centre of Excellence to Cement Scotland as Subsea Global Credentials

Published Apr 5, 2017
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A new GBP 16 million Centre of Excellence (CoE) for subsea development, which will be unrivalled anywhere else in the world, is to be established in East Kilbride positioning Scotland as a world leader in multiphase flow measurement.

Led by TÜV SÜD Limited (NEL), a leading provider of research and development, consultancy and testing to the international oil & gas industry, this investment will provide Scotland with a unique global capability, build on its position as a leader in subsea engineering and oil & gas innovation and make a significant contribution to growth ambitions of companies operating within the oil and gas sector.

TÜV SÜD AG has agreed to invest GBP 11.1 million in its NEL site in East Kilbride to develop the CoE for subsea development, thanks to a GBP 4.9 million research and development grant from Scottish Enterprise. The project marks the largest capital investment to date in the company’s UK business and, in addition to creating at least 17 new jobs, will safeguard a further 82 existing jobs in Scotland.

Designed to provide a new, best-in-class, high pressure multiphase flow test facility, with a test range beyond anything currently available anywhere else in the world, the CoE will enable NEL to provide world leading fluid flow technical services to the global oil & gas production market over the next 25 years.

The centre will provide opportunities for company-led industrial projects, development work with SMEs, hands-on training for the industry and academic research.

Focussed predominantly on the GBP 50 billion per annum global subsea sector, which is already home to approximately 370 companies in Scotland, the CoE will also offer potential benefits to companies in other sectors such as nuclear power, food and drink, aerospace and renewable energy.

The announcement comes during a visit by Economy Secretary Keith Brown to the Scottish Enterprise Technology Park in East Kilbride where the new facility will be built over the next two years.

He says, “Today’s announcement is great news for Scotland and its oil and gas sector. I recently returned from a trip to Germany to establish stronger trading links between ‎Scotland and Germany. While there, I met with company executives from another division within the TUV SUD group. Therefore, it gives me particular pleasure to announce this total investment of GBP 16 million, which includes GBP 11 million from TUV SUD AG in Munich, NEL’s parent company. This will help to create at least 17 jobs and protect 82 more in the Scottish Enterprise Technology Park in East Kilbride.”

“It is a testament to the international standing of the oil and gas sector in Scotland that the company has chosen to make this investment. It also reflects the bright future that the oil and gas industry and its supply chain can enjoy, especially when supported by innovations such as this Centre for Excellence for Flow Measurement and Fluid Mechanics‎. When complete, the Centre will place Scotland as a world leader in this exciting field. This will not only help the oil and gas sector to maximise economic recovery, but could have wide-ranging benefits for the food and drink, renewable and aerospace industries, supporting sustainable growth across the Scottish economy,” adds Secretary Brown.

Managing director of strategy and sectors at Scottish Enterprise, Linda Hanna, says, “In February last year we committed to supporting more oil & gas firms to deliver new innovative projects to help protect and sustain the future of the sector in Scotland.”

“Our GBP 4.9 million contribution was the catalyst behind NEL securing over £11 million of funding from its parent company, ensuring the skills and expertise at NEL are anchored in Scotland for the long term. This new facility will offer research facilities and a breadth of capability unmatched anywhere else in the world, supporting Scotland’s oil & gas sector to maximise its global competitiveness and position Scotland as a global leader in multiphase flow measurement. It will play a key role in the delivery of our subsea action plan launched earlier this year,” adds Hanna.

“NEL, part of the TÜV SÜD Group, is a forward thinking, ambitious organisation which, through our account management support, we are working intensively with to help deliver its growth ambition. This latest support builds on our previous assistance around financial readiness, organisational development and management training and I look forward to continuing to working closely with the management team to realise future growth plans,” she concludes.

Brian Millington, NEL’s Managing Director, says, “This is fantastic news for NEL and the investment from both Scottish Enterprise and our parent company, TÜV SÜD, demonstrates their confidence in NEL’s future and that of the oil & gas sector. This will be an enormous boost for NEL’s business given all the oil & gas sector challenges of recent years, and will represent a superb opportunity to maintain and enhance NEL’s profile of a genuine world-leader in flow measurement.”

Michael Valente, CEO of TUV SUD UK’s overall business, says, “This new technology centre will help NEL foster its worldwide reputation as leader in multiphase and wet gas flow measurement testing, operating the only global facility offering full range of flow rates and high pressure capabilities.”

“Our new investment will underpin technological advancement in this industry and will also bring competitive advantage to the very strong UK flow measurement instrumentation sector as it seeks markets beyond the borders of the EU. We appreciate the ongoing support which Scottish Enterprise provides to our business to achieve our aims,” adds Valente.

Welcoming the announcement, Colette Cohen of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, adds, “Subsea is a core area of excellence in the UK and it is great to see continued investment in the facilities and capabilities supporting this key area of expertise.”

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