ODE toasts bright future after 20 years in Yarmouth

Paul Chilvers, regional director of ODE

Paul Chilvers, regional director of ODE - Credit: Archant

An offshore engineering company has celebrated 20 years in Great Yarmouth - with buoyant predictions for the decade ahead.

Staff at ODE (Offshore Design Engineering) marked the two decade landmark with a party at the Ivy House Hotel in Oulton Broad as the company's growth plans are mapped out under new ownership,

Paris-based engineering giant DORIS Engineering has taken sole ownership of the firm, based in South Denes Road, having previously been one of two shareholders.

Regional ODE director Paul Chilvers, who has seen the Yarmouth workforce increase from 15 to 128 in his 17 years at the company, predicts an even brighter future under DORIS which last year recorded a 200m euro turnover.

'They have aspirations for growth for us, but exactly which way is subject to ongoing discussions,' he said.

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ODE's Yarmouth operation has grown year-on-year to a £20m-plus turnover, matching the performance of the company's London-based division.

Mr Chilvers said: 'The Yarmouth operation was originally set up with just six people to implement one piece of project work for Arco.'

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They still did quite a lot of engineering work for Perenco which bought out Arco, he added.

Mr Chilvers said: 'We were set up as an engineering organisation focusing on the southern North Sea and mostly involved with carrying out modifications to existing facilities.'

However, the 'step change' in their growth came with them running support contracts for gas platforms.

They now took day-to-day responsibility for five platforms, from putting technicians out on them to carrying out maintenance and all the logistics to support the manning of the platforms.

'That now represents two thirds of our business,' he said.

Mr Chilvers, who is a director of the East of England Energy Group, still sees plenty of potential business in oil and gas and also predicts 'considerable growth in offshore wind'.

ODE managed the construction of Scroby Sands windfarm, off Yarmouth, and has been involved in other bigger projects since.

While cautious to predict numbers, Mr Chilvers sees further growth in terms of staff numbers and emphasised the fact they had the appetite and capacity for future growth.

• Do you have a business story for the Eastern Daily Press? Contact business writer Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

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