Offshore firm Flameskill reaping benefits of branching out after oil and gas downturn
The rise of Norfolk's offshore renewables sector has helped to power diversification at a coastal safety firm.
Great Yarmouth-based Flameskill was on the lookout for opportunities following a slump in the oil and gas sector, and has branched out from firefighting products into life-safety equipment.
It was contracted to hire out life-saving kit for the Galloper offshore wind farm 30km off the Suffolk coast, and has also worked on the Dudgeon wind farm off the coast at Cromer.
It had previously specialised in fire protection since being founded in 1988 but has seen a surge in demand for safety equipment from life jackets and immersion suits to breathing apparatus and gas detectors.
Sam Monument, managing director, said: “It was the downturn in oil and gas sector a few years back, and we needed to offer other new products and services to accompany our firefighting products, and life-safety was the obvious bolt on, to what we were already doing.
“We saw we could offer these services to them, being local and able to jump when asked to. So, we now do a lot of supplying and servicing of life-saving equipment for offshore oil and gas and that in turn has led to renewables.”
Around 1,200 immersion suits were supplied to a major SNS operator in the past 18 months, along with escape equipment and the cabinets to store the equipment in.
The suits were purchased as part of a “walk-to-work” scheme which involves an accommodation vessel that pulls up alongside the platform and workers walking across to the platform via a bridge.
“Renewables is going to be here for some years,” said Mr Monument. “We are looking at ways of getting into offshore wind and the biggest market is life-saving equipment, PLBs (personal locator beacons) and harnesses.”