Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Enterprise (SE) are supporting marine specialist Leask Marine in its submersible drilling rig research and development project.
Leask Marine will invest £1.5 million in its R&D project with aim to target commercial opportunities in the offshore renewable energy market in Orkney and beyond with the cost effective and easily transported drilling rig.
The company has also purchased a Mobile Marine Test Platform (MMTP) and other equipment. The Numitor is a 30-meter steel pontoon which will serve as a working platform and is available for charter for the renewable energy industry, marine construction or harbour maintenance.
Orkney has played a key role in Scotland’s growth of wave and tidal energy technologies and is home to the world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine as well as the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) – the world’s first grid-connected wave and tidal test centre.
Graeme Harrison, area manager at HIE’s Orkney area team, said: “Leask Marine’s skills are in high demand and we are delighted to support them extend their services to the marine renewable energy sector.
“The availability of an MMTP in Orkney will be a complementary service to the innovative drilling rig being developed by the company and will cement its position as an important supply chain partner in this sector, further strengthening Orkney and Scotland’s global reputation.”
Michael Cannon, head of innovation grants, RSA and open innovation at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Leask Marine is a fantastic example of an innovative company with global ambitions. Increasing business innovation is critical to maintaining Scotland’s competitiveness and helping companies compete in the global marketplace.”
Dougie Leask, founder of Leask Marine, said: “We are delighted with the support from HIE and SE which has helped us to expand our growth plans locally and internationally. The Numitor is a welcome addition to our fleet of vessels which provides a boost to our business and will enable us/has enabled us to recruit new jobs. We look forward to developing the R&D project which will help us achieve our international ambitions.”