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Offshore company expands to Aberdeen

11 December 2015

A Great Yarmouth offshore company is bucking the downward trend in the industry by expanding and opening a new office in Aberdeen. IVB (Inspection Verification Bureau), which provides inspection and verification services to the oil, gas and renewable energy sectors, has invested in staffed offices in the UK’s oil and gas capital to meet existing and new clients’ needs.

IVB Technical Director Matthew Chapman
IVB Technical Director Matthew Chapman

The move is already paying off with new relationships being forged for contracts to start in the New Year.

Director Derek Lockwood said the company’s profitability was holding up in the offshore downturn with a steady stream of work. To maximise every opportunity, it wanted to be “on the spot” in Aberdeen.

“When we spoke to clients, they suggested that a physical presence in Aberdeen would pay off and we’re already seeing the benefit since opening the office on December 1.

“We have had home-based inspectors and engineers in Aberdeen for years. Our clients told us they were more than happy with the service they have from us, our prices and our guaranteed rapid response and believed being on the spot in Aberdeen would win us a larger share of the work, which is already proving right just by having a couple of people in the office.”

IVB, set up in 2010, employs 10 people in its Great Yarmouth office in Viking Road, with 120 contracted consultants and engineers around the UK and another 130 working globally. Its turnover is £3m-plus.

Its work focuses on taking the risk out of offshore projects by monitoring every stage, checking suppliers, products being made and checking documentation.

“If we can grow our business in the period of a downturn, we will be in a good position when the market turns around in the next year to 18 months, with projects starting in the third quarter of 2016.

“Our expansion has been managed within our own cash flow. People are happy to work with us because they know they will be paid on a regular basis. We always pay within 28 days.”
“Our costs and overheads are lower than our peers and our main competitors. We are smaller and more flexible. The swiftness of our response is something our clients like.”

“Our business model is such that it allows us to maintain lower costs while, at the same time, providing excellent service without the time constraints of some of our competitors.”

The office in Aberdeen’s Riverside Road makes investigating new markets and clients easier, Mr. Lockwood said.

Previously, the company had run all our operations from its Great Yarmouth office, visiting Aberdeen every six to seven week.

A recent visit to Aberdeen in November 2015 by IVB Technical Director Matthew Chapman finalised contractual and operation requirements allowing the office to open operationally on 1st December 2015.

Increasing work with UK clients was one reason for IVB’s continued success because contracts are not exposed to exchange rates.

“ If you look at a lot of overseas work which is billed out in dollars, you lose large sums of money in dollar exchange – that causes problems.”

IVB is also developing its work in offshore renewables. “We see this as a growing market for us,” said Mr. Lockwood.

The company has on-going work on the GDF Suez – now ENGIE - Cygnus project, the largest new gas field to be discovered in 25 years, due to start channeling gas into Bacton, Norfolk soon. “We have also teamed up with a company in Nigeria and have a technical agreement with them as well as people in the UAE and Kuwait.”

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