First Subsea Bags Offshore Wind Deals with Gov't Support

July 27, 2021

Credit: AWD
Credit: AWD

UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK's export credit agency and a government department, said Tuesday it had helped Scottish firm First Subsea land multi-million-pound export opportunities with offshore wind farms overseas. 

"First Subsea Ltd, a designer and manufacturer of Cable Protection Systems for fixed and floating offshore wind farms, has won major contracts to supply several offshore wind projects in overseas markets thanks to financial support from UKEF," UKEF said.

Per UKEF, First Subsea has recently shifted away from fossil fuels to operating almost exclusively in renewables.  Its cable protection systems are designed specifically for the challenging environmental conditions associated with offshore wind farms. 

In a social media post last week, First Subsea said it had won a contract from a European offshore wind operator to provide analysis, develop and provide a solution to replace faulty Cable Protection Systems previously supplied by another party. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

"The UK government is helping UK companies export the country’s world leading expertise in the offshore wind sector, and estimates export opportunities for the UK’s low-carbon sector will be more than £60 billion by 2030," UKEF said.

Recognizing this,  UKEF said, First Subsea radically changed its business model to seize these opportunities and now has over £12 million of export orders to supply offshore wind farms. 

To help First Subsea fulfill these orders, UKEF provided Virgin Money with an 80% guarantee on bonds required by First Subsea Ltd to fulfill several export contracts, together worth millions of pounds, in the offshore wind sector across Europe and Asia-Pacific. 

First Subsea is now growing its renewables-focused strategy, expanding its UK operations in both Lancaster and Aberdeen. 

Steven Brown, Group Finance Director – First Tech Ltd, said:"The support from UKEF and Virgin Money has enabled us to not only complete vital projects but will enable First Subsea Ltd to execute far more projects concurrently. The process in getting the facility in place was exceptionally well managed and we look forward to working with both teams moving forwards. The First Subsea Ltd business continues to grow at a rapid pace and certainly the support from UKEF and Virgin Money will help facilitate the execution of our ambitious growth strategy."

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP, said: We are lucky to have the best credit agency in the world, and UKEF stands ready to help more Scottish exporters like First Subsea win big contracts overseas. UKEF is helping us accelerate the transition to clean energy, which will bring prosperity and a wide range of sustainable jobs to Scotland. The recently published Green Trade report from the Board of Trade highlights how vital free trade will be in helping the UK and the world build back greener from the pandemic, and this support is just one example of the work we do to ensure this outcome. 

Alastair McMillan, UKEF Export Development Manager for Scotland, commented: It’s great to see more UK companies export their unique products and services to help drive sustainability. First Subsea shows how British companies are increasingly at the vanguard of the global transition to renewable energy and UKEF is here to make sure UK exporters have the financing they need to export. 

Andy Tait, Director, Regional Banking, North & East Scotland, at Virgin Money, said: First Subsea has been a customer of Virgin Money for a number of years and we’ve supported its growth aspirations as it has moved into the renewables sector. With sustainability high on the agenda, First Subsea’s world-leading CPS technology will continue to play a key role in their continued growth in area. 



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