Bolstering our mechanical solutions capability for the offshore energy sector

17 May 2022

In 2019, Ashtead Technology acquired Underwater Cutting Solutions (UCS), strengthening our wider subsea equipment and IMR services offering to customers globally.

Three years on, Fraser Collis, General Manager of Ashtead Technology’s Mechanical Solutions business and one of the founders of UCS, shares his thoughts on the journey so far and how being part of Ashtead Technology is providing greater value to our customers.

“Founded in 2004, UCS was a market leader in the North Sea, providing mechanical cutting, dredging and coating removal equipment and services. Over the years, we developed and successfully deployed a vast suite of purpose designed tools and techniques for the successful cutting of subsea and topside pipelines and structures.

“UCS was built around teamwork and a passion for technology. Our team enjoyed all aspects of engineering and problem solving in order to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. This spirit is something I am immensely proud of and continue to nurture now that we’re part of the Ashtead Technology team.

International expansion and investment

“Now part of Ashtead Technology’s Mechanical Solutions service line, we are looking to further scale the business internationally and provide our specialist technologies and expertise to customers operating in key offshore energy hubs. We have already made quite substantial investment in developing and mobilising new equipment spreads to support projects in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions and our teams in the Americas continue to expand our global fleet of equipment using their in-house design and assembly expertise.

“To meet the continued demand for our services and in-house engineering capability, we invested in growing the Mechanical Solutions team with several key operational appointments made already this year to bolster our expertise across our international locations.

“In our relentless pursuit of excellence, we also continue to invest in our equipment to ensure we remain at the forefront of what we do. This commitment to innovation and continuous improvement has led to recent enhancements to our shear cutting, diamond wire cutting and water abrasive cutting solutions portfolio in order to solve our customers’ operational challenges.

“In February 2021, we invested in a new technology facility based in Aberdeenshire, UK, which is home to our Mechanical Solutions and Europe region Asset Integrity teams. By consolidating our team and technologies in a new purpose designed facility we’ve been able to fully integrate our service offering to provide a more efficient and streamlined service for our customers. The new facility has also doubled the capacity of our previous site to accommodate our growing fleet of equipment and enabled the development of more bespoke technologies to support our customers’ unique project requirements.

Supporting the energy transition

“As part of our long-term sustainability strategy, these latest investments are enabling us to play a more proactive role in supporting customers in the offshore renewables and decommissioning markets. Through utilising our skilled people and their wealth of subsea operations domain knowledge together with our equipment and facilities, we can deliver best-in-class, cost-effective technology solutions for the construction and installation phases of offshore wind farm developments.

“Decommissioning is also playing a crucial part in the transition to becoming a net‐zero economy and based on the strength of our subsea technology know-how and track record in this field, Ashtead Technology is continuing to play an active role in the delivery of innovative, safer and low-cost technology solutions for the cutting and removal of offshore energy infrastructure.”

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