Subsea Expo

Access. Connect. Grow.

ROVOP Creates New Jobs After Investing in One of the Most Powerful ROVs

23 April 2012

New start-up business ROVOP has created new employment opportunities in the North-east after investing more than £750,000 in one of the most powerful subsea vehicles of its kind.

The specialist providers and operators of ROVs for the energy industry, which currently employs six people and has eight contractors, anticipates this increasing from 14 to more than 35 employees and contractors over the next three months.

News of the jobs boost comes after ROVOP acquired a purpose-built Saab Seaeye Cougar XT remotely operated vehicle (ROV). It is capable of not only operating in hazardous locations and environments - including high currents of up to 3 knots – but features an array of cutting edge subsea tools and sensing technology such as the latest 3-D sonar and a laser measurement camera.

The layout of the ROV, which can be deployed for oil and gas and marine renewables, has been specially designed by ROVOP to ensure it takes up less valuable deck space on vessels and rigs.

Mark Vorenkamp, chairman of Aberdeen-headquartered ROVOP, said: "The Cougar XT is a tremendous asset for ROVOP and significantly underpins our capabilities. It is widely recognised by the industry for its track record and reliability, while it brings considerable added value for our customers in terms of cost effectiveness.

"We see it as particularly valuable for inspection, repair and maintenance, survey, drill support and wind farm construction. Taking into account the key factors of safety, reliability, space and cost, the Cougar XT excels.”

ROVOP, which was formed in 2011, is fast becoming a leading industry player after successfully carving out a niche for itself as an independent company providing specialist, rapid-response ROV solutions. These span project feasibility through to all aspects of project management including mobilisation to project completion as well as providing first-class equipment and pilot technicians, to ensure projects are delivered safely and efficiently.

Less than a year after its inception and ROVOP has already built up an impressive portfolio of credentials, having delivered work on a diverse range of projects with all sizes of ROVs. The projects include wind farm construction in the North and Irish seas and survey support in Denmark.

Earlier this year, the company was named as a finalist for Subsea UK’s New Enterprise accolade at the industry body’s 2012 Subsea Business Awards.

Mr Vorenkamp said: "The fast-paced growth of ROVOP has exceeded our expectations with demand for our services continuing to increase. A large part of ROVOP’s growth is down to our ability to provide a rapid, consistent and totally focused ROV service. As a result, we are working with a large number of clients that may otherwise have considered themselves as competitors.”

Managing director of Saab Seaeye, Dave Grant, said: "Saab Seaeye are proud to have been selected as the ROV supplier to ROVOP and have configured a Seaeye Cougar XT ROV system to match the ROVOP requirement of compact and light weight surface equipment and a high performance vehicle with the latest sensors.

"The Cougar XT ROV provides a wide range of capability from inspection and observation to light work tasks using the dual five function manipulator arms. The performance, track record and reliability of the Cougar XT ROV persuaded the very experienced team at ROVOP to invest in a Saab Seaeye ROV and I wish them future success.”

ROVOP was established by Mr Vorenkamp along with Steven Gray, who is managing director of the company, and technical director Scott Freeland. The company also recently appointed Sandy Arbuthnot as senior offshore supervisor at with responsibility for the new ROV. Sandy was previously with Hallin Marine where he oversaw similar systems.

Mr Vorenkamp has extensive experience and expertise of running ROV and survey companies having held a number of high-profile roles including CEO of DOF Subsea, managing director of both Fugro and Brown & Root Survey. He was also co-founder of Century Subsea which he went onto sell to DOF Subsea. Originally from the US, Mr Vorenkamp moved to Scotland in the 1970s.

Mr Gray brings a high-profile financial dimension to ROVOP with 17 years experience in the energy industry as a private equity investor, banker and a lawyer with LDC & Bank of Scotland.

He was previously an investment director with LDC responsible for investing in oil & gas, subsea and offshore companies from Aberdeen. Prior to this, he was a director with Bank of Scotland where he was responsible for transactions of more than £1billion over nine years - including five years in New York - into oil companies, oil service businesses, pipelines, wind farms and power plants.

Mr Freeland boasts more than 12 years offshore as an ROV pilot followed by nine years’ experience in operational management of ROVs as a project manager, base engineer and personnel manager. Scott was previously with Sonsub, Fugro and Canyon.