Subsea Expo

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New VP Takes The Lead As Aker Solutions Subsea Business Gears Up For Increased Activity

17 May 2011

Aker Solutions in the U.K. has strengthened its position as a global centre of excellence for the subsea sector with the appointment of a new vice president of business development to steer the division as it enters a new period of growth and expansion.

Harry Kulasinghe will lead the business development and contracts and tendering departments of the engineering construction services firm's subsea business unit as it looks to recruit an additional 550 workers and our planned investment in research and development over the next three years is in excess of £15million.

The growth strategy comes as the subsea division, which netted a turnover of £150million in 2010, forecasts an upturn in activity with around 65 new build subsea control modules expected to be built in Aberdeen in 2011.

"I am delighted to take up this prestigious appointment at such an exciting stage in the development of the subsea business. While Aker is already a major investor in the UK oil and gas manufacturing sector with upwards of £100million spend in the supply chain last year alone, our ambition is to further increase our profile through the targeted development of world class subsea technology and services, said Kulasinghe.

"At present, 80% of our business is exported. In order to at least maintain our market share, we must recruit resources to cope with the UK and worldwide demand for subsea control systems and wellheads. As well as investing £20million capex in the next 12 months, we are looking to increase the subsea workforce from 950 to upwards of 1,500 over the next few years.

A chartered electrical engineer, Kulasinghe began his career as an industrial apprentice before becoming involved in designing electrical control systems for the drilling industry. In a career spanning more than 25 years he has held directorial postings around the world for oil and gas companies including KBR Production Services (now PSN) and APG Salamis. He started his apprenticeship with John Brown Engineering, a legacy company of Aker Solutions and has now returned to manufacturing company after a 15 year break.

Alan Brunnen, managing director of Aker Solutions' subsea division, said: "We are fortunate to have someone of Harry's calibre join the team and are confident his experience will help us to develop new opportunities for our expansion across the business both in the North Sea and internationally.