RGU Visiting Professor heads up first UK subsidiary of COES


Thursday 13 December 2018

A visiting professor at RGU's Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment has taken the helm at COES Caledonia (UK) Limited.

Professor Norman McLennan is the Director General of the organisation, which is based in Dundee and will be the first UK Limited subsidiary company of China Ocean Engineering Shanghai Co (COES), an international state-owned marine and offshore engineering services group.

This exciting new venture will broaden the company’s international reach and support the growing offshore decommissioning and renewables sector in the UK and Europe. The North Sea / UKCS decommissioning sector alone is estimated to have £17.6 billion expenditure and 100 platforms, and 7,500 km of pipelines for complete or partial removal over the next decade*.

The COES International President, Mr Hong Chong, travelled 5,600 miles to be in Scotland to officially open the new premises in conjunction with the Scottish Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP, and Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander.

Ahead of its projected global decommissioning and renewables activity, COES has invested around £400 million to develop new state-of-the-art offshore construction engineering assets.  One of these is its new flag ship vessel the ‘Chuang Li’, which translates to mean ‘innovative vessel’. This vessel has DP3 4500MT Lifting Capacity and Self-Propelled Pipelay Capability which makes for an attractive value proposition for prospective clients in the region.

The new company has also invested £0.5m in a modern office located on Dundee’s waterfront and will initially employ up to 15 members of staff, and, subject to contract success, has ambitions to grow the team in the years ahead creating both local and international job opportunities.

Prof McLennan, commented: “It’s fantastic to officially open the doors to our first UK office, realising our strategic intent to strengthen the COES presence in Scotland.

“There’s a significant volume of offshore decommissioning and renewables activity projected over the next decade and we’re looking forward to supporting the offshore sector from our new prime location in Dundee.

 “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Scottish Development International for its support and opening the gateway to this exciting new opportunity for COES, and indeed the offshore sector in Scotland and beyond.”

The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn, said: “I am delighted to welcome COES to Scotland and the formation of COES Caledonia UK Ltd. In locating in Scotland, COES has recognised our supportive business environment which encourages innovation, investment and inclusive growth.

“The Scottish Government has already supported decommissioning projects in Dundee through the Decommissioning Challenge Fund, and we continue to work to realise the economic benefits from decommissioning activity in Scotland.”

Councillor Alexander said: “I’m absolutely delighted that COES are creating a decommissioning and offshore renewables project base here in our dynamic and growing city.

“This has been the result of a determination by the council and its partners to ensure that we engage with businesses and encourage them to make Dundee their home.

“I look forward to the opportunities that this new base will create for our city. But we are not complacent and realise that there is still a lot of hard work that needs to be put in to realise the potential of this investment for the city.”

Neil Francis, Director, Scottish Development International, said: "We’re thrilled that China Ocean Engineering Shanghai has taken the decision to locate its first UK subsidiary in Dundee. It’s estimated that decommissioning could be worth more than £10 billion to Scotland’s economy over the next decade and having one of the industry’s foremost heavy lift vessel providers base itself in Scotland is a boon to the country’s international standing in this field.”

COES first announced its strategic intent to establish a project office in Scotland in 2017 during a meeting with the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, when she visited the COES Head Quarters in Shanghai as part of her trade mission to China.