With support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Enterprise (SE), which includes an R&D grant of £488,688, Leask Marine will design, manufacture, assemble and test the viability of a submersible drilling rig suitable for highly turbulent marine conditions.
Leask Marine aims 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 with support of a £70,000 grant from HIE. The Numitor is a 30m steel pontoon which will serve as a working platform and is available for charter for the renewable energy industry, marine construction or harbour maintenance.
Commenting on the investment, 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."
"Orkney has become the global epicentre of marine renewables research based around the European Marine Energy Centre and this has led to the development of a skilled and experienced local supply chain," added Graeme Harrison, area manager at HIE's Orkney area team. "Leask Marine's skills are in high demand and we are delighted to support them extend their services to the marine renewable energy sector.
"Scotland continues to be a world leader in the development and support of wave and tidal energy technologies. 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," Harrison concluded.