Aurora Energy Services, a newly launched, Aberdeen-based energy industry services provider, said Thursday it had acquired two long-established Scottish businesses.
Namely, Aurora has acquired Huntly-based offshore services and fabrication company R&M Engineering, following on from its first acquisition in December 2022 of rope access and training specialist Inverness Access Training Services (IATS). No details were shared on the values of these acquisitions.
"All jobs at IATS and R&M Engineering have been secured and in the next 12 months, Aurora expects to increase its current headcount of around 80 to 200 as it rolls out a program of strategic acquisitions and invests more capital in organic growth," the company said.
Aurora said its business plan was to create a £100 million turnover international energy services provider over the next five years by continuing to provide services to oil and gas, and in parallel, targeting work in the wind, solar, hydrogen, carbon capture & storage, pumped hydro and waste to energy sectors.
Owned by energy sector serial entrepreneurs Doug Duguid and Michael Buchan - co-founders of EnerMech - through their I7V Renewables investment fund, capital has also been invested by Aurora’s senior management, including Alan McLean - who has been with R&M for over 30 years. They are joined by Alan Bailey, who has been appointed as the new Managing Director at R&M, and who previously worked alongside Duguid and Buchan at EnerMech for 12 years.
R&M Engineering fabricates pipework and structural steelwork and has provided fabrication services to the oil and gas industry for more than 40 years.
According to Aurora, the business has already started the transition to renewables, winning a number of offshore wind contracts, and its 6.5 acre Huntly site and workforce will be central to Aurora’s expansion plans.
Doug Duguid, I7V Renewables Chief Executive Officer, said: “Aurora Energy Services is structuring its operational capability to deliver an integrated service to the renewables industry. It is clear from conversations with wind farm developers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that there is some frustration with having to manage the various interfaces between different contractors, and the increased costs and inefficiency that this causes.”
IATS co-owners, Andy and Lorna Johnston, will remain with the new entity and have also invested in Aurora.
According to Aurora, Andy Johnston will play a central role as Aurora strengthens its rope access, inspection, and technical training credentials with the opening of a new 11,000 sq ft site in the Longman area of Inverness.
The Renewable Energy Training Centre - a £750,000 investment - will offer safety training and technical courses for onsite renewables operations, and reskilling programs for workers looking to transition into renewables sector jobs, Aurora said.
The Inverness site is also Aurora’s Wind Energy service center, delivering project engineering for onshore and offshore wind workshops and, according to the company, be the Highland’s first Global Wind Organisation (GWO) accredited safety and technical training center when it opens in June this year.
"A particular focus of the Inverness centre will be to deliver specialised blade inspection and repair courses - and ECITB* controlled bolting - both of which will go well beyond the level of the GWO basic technical training," Aurora said.
Further, Aurora plans to develop three business streams – renewables services including inspection, repair and maintenance, engineering, and installation support; training and accreditation (providing the opportunity for the oil and gas workforce to add new skills and enabling a transition to renewables); and design engineering, fabrication and site installation, initially in oil & gas but transitioning to provide the same services to the renewables sector.
(£100 million is ~ $124 million at current rates)