Aberdeen-based Hydro Group, a global solution provider of optical and electrical subsea products, welcomed Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond to an open day at the company’s new £42.m research, design, engineering and manufacturing facility at Aberdeen Science and Energy Park.
The state-of-the-art premises aids Hydro Group’s future development of new products, including those for the renewable sector. The facility spans a total of 40,000 sq ft, reducing the company’s carbon footprint by utilising rainwater recovery and heat recirculation.
£500,000 has been invested in new equipment for the facility, including a purpose-built cable layup machine designed for short power cables mainly for the marine renewable sector. This increased capacity also allows cable runs for subsea bundles of up to 10,000m depending on the diameter.
A further £250,000 investment will be spent on a new 10,000 PSI pressure-testing vessel to be installed by the end of 2010.
Hydro Group CEO Doug Whyte said: “We were honoured to be joined by the First Minister on such a special day and to have Mr Salmond perform the official opening of the building.
“We wanted to use the event as a thank you to all Hydro Group staff who, with the guidance of the Scottish Manufacture Advisory Service (SMAS), helped design the building and layout of their new working environment and support from Scottish Enterprise Grampian prior to and throughout the three-year planning process.”
The expansion has already allowed for growth in employee numbers. Six extra staff have recently been appointed and Hydro Group is hoping to create a further six positions by the end of this financial year.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Hydro Group’s decision to create this £4.2m headquarters in Aberdeen demonstrates the company’s confidence in the local workforce, the Scottish economy and the opportunities available in the emerging sectors of renewables and marine sciences.
“Despite the economic downturn, Hydro Group has continued to grow and build on its success, recruiting six new staff since moving to these impressive new premises at the Aberdeen Energy Park.
“Hydro Group is right at the cutting edge of technical developments, particularly in the renewables sector. Renewables has huge potential for Scotland – it is estimated that around 60,000 jobs could be created in Scotland by 2020 in low-carbon industries.
“I am delighted to officially open this state-of-the-art new facility and wish Hydro Group every future success at its new headquarters.
Lena Wilson, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Hydro Group is an excellent example of a Scottish company expanding and growing out of the recession by capitalising on the opportunities within the global energy sector.
“Despite the global economic conditions over the past two years, the company has continued to invest in its growth plans and this new R&D facility will act as a major boost for the company’s ambitions to develop its business in both the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors.”
Earlier this year, Hydro Group announced a £500k contract win for the company’s HRC connector for a tidal energy project in the UK, and is now bidding on similar systems in domestic and international wave and tidal test sites. Other future plans for the rapidly-expanding company include erecting a 50kW wind turbine at the new Aberdeen headquarters.