Expanding the offering in offshore renewables

Global Marine today is considered by many as a leading operator in subsea engineering. This enviable position is partly driven from a 165 year legacy that combines a passion for customer service, precise project execution and delivering complex installations in all corners of the globe. The company has successfully diversified into multiple industry sectors and currently operates in offshore renewables, power, oil & gas and deep sea research, alongside its more traditional telecommunications background.

Its presence in the offshore renewables market dates back to the year 2000, when Global Marine installed inter array cables at the UK’s first offshore wind farm Blyth, and was subsequently Global Marine 135 binvolved in Horns Rev in 2002, Europe’s first commercial wind farm. In the intervening period, Global Marine’s vessel, the C.S. Sovereign, has continued to work extensively in the sector, installing 17 per cent of inter array cables globally. The company’s commitment to the industry has been further boosted by the acquisition of offshore wind specialist CWind, a company which in a short time has grown substantially, establishing itself as the go-to provider for operations and maintenance services for wind farm owners.

The pioneering spirit that stems from the company’s involvement at the embryonic phases of both telecommunications and offshore renewables is entrenched into the business ethos and the values by which the company operates itself today.

The company also has a strong foothold in the oil & gas sector, most recently completing two installation projects for Tampnet in the North Sea one a platform-to-platform project and the other installing a Cable End Module on to the seabed with precision. Speaking with Mikkel Gleerup, the Director of Sales & Commercial, he expanded on why diversification has worked for the business:

“Obviously there are challenges in the market, oil & gas has been in a difficult situation, and as a result projects have been cancelled. But we are still seeing opportunities there, and for Global Marine we are focused on several segments: we are in telecommunication, we are in renewables, we are in oil & gas, which I think all adds up to a really strong portfolio. We see a lot of opportunities out there and we are in a position to partner up with companies that need someone with our kind of experience, and without question we can make a real difference to a project’s success.”

No doubt, by being in so many markets it provides a level of insulation from the instability of any one or two of the sectors in which Global Marine is involved. Equally, it means that if one market suffers, another may be doing better, which would help offset the underperforming segment. The renewable energy industry is certainly a tempting one, as Mikkel highlighted: “If you look at the renewables market, it is still a growing market, there are a mix of numbers people predict for it, but we believe they are all promising. That is why it’s one of the areas we are making investments in, and I would say we have a very strong position to make a big impact. The UK government, like many others globally, has been really ambitious on UK renewable energy targets, and that for us is something we can support, both our customers locally and on a worldwide platform.”

Another way in which Global Marine has reinforced its commitment to the renewable sector is with the purchase of a major stake in CWind. This is a clear message that the role it will play in the Global Marine 135 crenewable market is one that will grow in the future, and that Global Marine is here to stay. Mikkel explained why it went down this avenue: “The investment clearly reiterates our commitment to the renewable sector, and shows that we want to be present in it, and that we want to invest together and be a partner with our potential customers there. We are in this market to stay. Our customers will now benefit from a wider range of services from project concept right through installation and to the on-going operations and maintenance provision. This, we hope, will remove some of the challenges that wind farms owners experience liaising with multiple suppliers. We strongly believe that our combined offering is right and will meet the pace of change that the industry is experiencing.”

While there is a focus to increase the presence of Global Marine in the renewable sector, there is a clear reiteration that this in no way lessens the commitment or service it extends to its other markets. This was a sentiment that Mikkel was crystal clear about: “As a company we remain a key player and want to continue to manifest ourselves in the renewable energy sector and expand our presence there, but not at the cost of any of the other sectors we are in. We are completely committed to these sectors, and future projects will be treated on a first come first serve basis rather than any sector getting preferential treatment. We have and will go on serving all our customers.” Mikkel was also keen to stress that maintenance has always been and will always remain fundamental to the business: “Telecommunications and maintenance are the backbone of the traditional business done by the company, and is also something we are looking to expand on across all sectors we are involved in.”

With one industry stuttering, while another blooms, Global Marine is placing itself in a strong position, building a presence in a growing market, while maintaining importance in another sector, which will likely bounce back with new found strength. It is a reliable partner everywhere it places its expertise, with a reputation not to be sniffed at. Mikkel said the company has decisive ambitions for where it should get to: “We want to be the first choice provider of marine engineering.” Whichever sector its customers come from, they are sure to find the same level of quality and reliability, which really only points in one direction for Global Marine, and that is up.

Global Marine Systems Limited

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