Formed in 2003 as a consultancy tasked with providing marine, engineering and HSE support to the offshore renewable sector, which encompasses wind, wave and tidal projects, SeaRoc would go on to be acquired by Fred Olsen Limited (FOL) six years later. Following a number of managerial changes it emerged with its present day structure in June 2010: “Under this structure, SeaRoc has expanded its offering, getting involved in all aspects of offshore marine and engineering projects,” states Operations Director, Toby Mead. “Today it is more than capable of providing complete solutions and of managing any risks that it is introduced to in its line of work.”
Such has been the company’s success in its home market of the UK, the name SeaRoc has been increasingly the focus of attention from those operating further afield. This has resulted in it taking on several projects that are currently underway in France, Belgium and Germany. Elsewhere SeaRoc boasts a growing reputation in the US, where it recently based several of its employees for the first time, and has a solid working agreement in place with the large Korean engineering firm CDS.
According to Toby, the success of SeaRoc can be traced back to the experienced people it employs and its ability to innovate and adapt to a rapidly changing market: “Although much has been achieved over the last ten years, the offshore renewable sector is still very much in its infancy, and with that comes the need for successful companies to adapt and innovate. SeaRoc’s ability to carry out projects so professionally often comes as a result of it taking a slightly different approach and attacking the issues at hand from a completely different angle. This is something that comes from having the right degree of experience in every part of its business.
“With the necessary flexibility to service a client’s individual needs, SeaRoc is one of a select few companies in its field that can provide large developers such as RWE, E-ON, DONG and SSE with the services they want, namely being a partner that can provide real added value, reduced overall costs and other project benefits. To this day the company maintains three consultancy arms, marine operations, engineering and HSE, and thanks to the people it employs this part of the business is steadily growing in reputation.”
One of the more recent product developments that the company is currently promoting is the SeaZephlR, a floating platform with integrated Lidar systems: “The SeaZephlR has been specifically designed to provide an incredibly stable, restricted motion platform to facilitate a Lidar and other MetOcean instruments,” Toby explains. “Originally conceived and developed in 2007, its stages of development have included a full 12 month offshore test, with data being compared to both onshore sized masts and onshore ZephlR systems. Following continued prototyping and deployments throughout 2010 and 2011, what the company arrived at was a product with its main feature being an extremely an extremely stable buoy design, borrowing expertise from across the oil and gas industry.
“This latest design uses a tension leg buoy, which further reduces motion to the point that, even in the most extreme of offshore conditions, movement is limited to such a degree that the data gained could just as well have come from a fixed platform. Simple to install, requiring minimal work at height and designed to remain in location on all sea states, the SeaZephlR has already begun contributing to what will no doubt go on to be a long, distinguished track record.”
Developed from two prototypes into its current status, the first of which is due for completion and deployment in April 2012, the SeaZephlR’s design has evolved to incorporate high factors of safety, with the buoy currently undergoing fabrication that is able to survive the effects of waves in excess of 14 metres tall. Built to ship standard specifications and with an electronics system that is equipped for ten years of use, the prototypes of this product have already returned excellent data results and have undergone significant motion tests on physical test platforms. With the SeaZephlR having already proven itself to be a robust offshore solution, SeaRoc can now look forward to it being taken into the commercial development phase.
“Further to this work, the company is still very much involved in the meteorological mast market, in which it is actively working on six offshore masts, delivering everything from project management to a complete EPCI service,” Toby highlights. “One hundred metre masts on fixed foundations are very much the here and now but we strongly believe in the floating lidar solution and are building an in-house team that will ultimately be able to deliver multiple installations in the years to come that will compliment meteorological masts and support power performance monitoring.”
The growth of the business is certainly clear for all to see and is very much something SeaRoc wants to capitalise on in the not-too-distant future: “This growth has been structured and continues to be supported by parent company Fred Olsen Limited. In response to the gradual expansion of the company it is currently running an aggressive recruitment campaign that is focused on identifying offshore engineering experience and marine expertise. Those that successfully join the SeaRoc family will not only possess such characteristics they unquestionably will also boast the right attitude and, like SeaRoc itself, will see the great many benefits that an innovative approach can bring,” Toby concludes.