A North East offshore business is aiming to make a big splash across the pond after securing a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.
Green Marine Solutions specialises in coordinating all the logistical aspects of offshore operations, including personnel and vessels, communications systems, software and maritime surveillance.
The Sunderland-headquartered firm primarily works with clients in the offshore wind industry and has already been involved with high profile projects in South America and mainland Europe, as well as off the North East and East Anglian coasts.
And it is now looking to use a £50,000 Small Loan Fund investment obtained through regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to establish a presence in the fast-expanding US offshore wind sector for the first time.
Green Marine Solutions is expecting to break through the £2m turnover barrier for the first time this year and is expecting to create a number of new jobs as the business grows.
Its client base already includes a range of household name energy businesses, including EDF, SSE Renewables and Siemens.
It was also one of the first UK companies to work in France on the first offshore wind farm and has added a further two wind farm construction projects to its pipeline in the last 18 months.
Alongside that, it has been providing an operations and maintenance marine coordination service in Belgium for the last eight years.
Crispian Jones, founder and managing director at Green Marine Solutions, has just returned from an initial trip to the US to talk to potential customers about the services his business offers.
He says: “Companies working on complicated projects in immensely challenging offshore environments need to know that they can rely absolutely on the detailed logistical support that makes their operations possible.
“We’ve built a reputation over the last decade for providing the essential project foundations that these operators need and believe that the quality of the team that we’ve built and the unrivalled service standards to which we work make us stand out from the competition.
“The US offshore wind sector is set to explode, and this investment will help us to take advantage of the huge range of opportunities that the renewables sector will offer in the coming years, both across the Atlantic and within European markets.
“The funding model that NEL offers was the best available fit for our business model and the investment team was very helpful in enabling us to bring in the growth capital we were looking for.”
Mike Guellard, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Low carbon investment is one of the North East Fund’s main priorities and we’re actively building a portfolio of ambitious firm across the region that are succeeding in this sector.
“Green Marine Solutions has a proven track record in a growing market and is now equipped to work towards its next growth objectives.”
Part of the £120m North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £100,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.
It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.
The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 2,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.