Since 2005, Ecosse Subsea (ESS) built a community of offshore construction specialists, operating both on and offshore, and created a profitable business, supporting external customers and building internal capabilities. Without external investment, ESS took several inventions by founder Mike Wilson and explored the market to understand what clients wanted – which technology for what purpose.

In response, ESS designed and built the SCAR plough in 2011 and promoted its capabilities across the market. A year later, a major Oil and Gas customer wanted a boulder clearing job performed, so the SCAR was adapted and enlarged to clear boulders from a pipeline route down to water depth of 640m. This first project in 2012 was a big success, both for the client and ESS. The client brought its first gas date ahead by 12 months and ESS bridged the gap between innovation and profit.

By the 2014 downturn in oil price, ESS had already diversified into offshore renewables, and the SCAR ploughs were readily adopted as a low risk technique for protection of power cables in tough seabed conditions. Concentrating on quality of service and doing what they were best at, ESS became very profitable and eventually sold to a quoted US company which sought a foothold in the global renewables market.

Find out more about our current R&D initiatives.