A TRIO of former offshore oil workers have used the downturn in the industry to establish a growing business which has led them to open a base in Thurso.
Enerpro was founded in Aberdeen in 2015 by David Wade, from Thurso, and Hugh MacLeod, from Berriedale, along with their business partner Gordon Farquhar from Aberdeen.
Their venture offers a construction support service to companies working in the energy sector.
The firm, which recently moved into an office in Thurso’s Princes Street, has already employed a number of Caithness workers on its contracts and is confident about its future prospects.
The men created the business in the wake of the recession in the oil industry to offer its clients a cost-effective way to carry out maintenance, engineering and construction support to firms operating in the energy sector.
After opening up in Aberdeen, they decided to spread their wings to form a base in the far north and they have already employed a considerable number of staff from the county to work on its contracts.
Mr Wade said all three company founders worked in a rig reactivation and development team for a company in Aberdeen for five years and have also worked for a number of leading oil and gas service companies, as well as industry-leading drilling contractors.
While acknowledging Caithness is prominently associated with the nuclear industry, Mr Wade said Enerpro specialises in providing services to a variety of energy-based industries.
The 30-year-old said: “The reason we opened our office in Thurso was we were working on a project in Reading for AWE and they recognised our northern accent and asked if we offered our services to Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL).
“After that, we went to a local supply day event in Thurso Cinema last year.
“The feedback we received from DSRL management was promising and they indicated they would gladly work with a new fresh company and said they would benefit from our experience in different industries.”
Mr Wade added: “We then decided to open our second office in Thurso.
“The nuclear site was a plus for opening in Thurso but it wasn’t the only reason.
“We are offering a full turnkey service to many energy sectors and we believe there isn’t one company up north that does that.”
Enerpro is involved in a project in Norway for a cementing company that is working on a semi-submersible drilling rig where out of their 15 personnel working on the project, five come from Caithness.
Its personnel range from fabricators, welders, level three riggers, advanced scaffolders and electricians.
The company has completed several design projects at Dounreay and has also completed rope access projects offshore.
Mr Wade said it wants to take advantage of the experience which exists in Caithness to help the business grow as well as offer new work opportunities to young people as they develop the company.
He said: “The Enerpro Group aims to a be a leading design and construction support to the multi-market industry concentrating in nuclear, infrastructures and oil and gas.
“We believe Caithness is filled with highly experienced personnel who have a great appetite to work hard in every opportunity given to them.
“For years, we have employed people from Caithness in the offshore industry and plan to do the same for Enerpro.
“We also plan to take on apprentices and graduates as we grow. We firmly believe working in various industries will give our staff the best opportunity to grow and develop their trades.”