Office opening marks start of �15m investment

The opening of a new base marked the start of a �15m investment and expansion plan in Great Yarmouth by an offshore industry firm yesterday.

Holland-based Pipeline Nitrogen Services (PNS) says it wants to create 120 jobs in the area over the coming years as it targets a plan to increase its �10m turnover.

The opening of its new offices and workshop, PNS's second facillity in the UK, has been welcomed as a sign of the strength of the industry in the region.

Ian Sadler, managing director of Coil Services PNS UK, the UK branch of the company, said that Yarmouth was chosen for the new base because of the vast wealth of possibilities for business in the area.

He pointed to future maintenance opportunities at Sizewell nuclear power station, alongside the maintenance and decommissioning of gas wells and the major offshore windfarm development planned off the Norfolk coastline.

'It's also a fantastic area for employing people,' he said. 'We've got some of the most capable individuals in Europe working in this region and we want to draw from the local talent pool.'

PNS specialises in the extension of the life of gas wells and their decommissioning. Its new site, in Pasteur Road, was a former lorry park.

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The firm, which has just secured a �1.5m contract with a Rotterdam-based firm, hopes to generate a turnover of �5m next year from the base.

PNS UK, which was established in 2007, said it would be increasing staff from 10 up to 60 by mid 2011 and the hope to double that within three to four years.

The �15m of investment will be spread over the next three years, and nearly half of the total will be spent on state-of-the-art nitrogen pumping units and coil tubing rigs.

PNS' other UK facillity employs about 60 people in Wakefield, Yorkshire.

Speaking at the opening, Yarmouth's MP Brandon Lewis said: 'To see a company like this one investing in Great Yarmouth and using Yarmouth's expertise and technology to sell to the rest of the world puts us back on the map.

'It helps people realise this is where the expertise is and I think we've got exciting times ahead.'

John Best, chief executive of EEEGR, added: 'It's magnificent to see their vision.

'They're investing in the centre of the energy range for the future. Undoubtedly the east of England is the energy region and will be for decades.'