US oil service giant Baker Hughes, a GE company, has revealed plans to make an investment of £31m ($41m) to build a subsea manufacturing campus in the north-east of Scotland.
The plan will be backed by a £4.9m grant from Scottish Enterprise, a sponsored non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government.
The £31m investment by Baker Hughes is part of its plan to transform its current facility into a new Centre of Excellence (CoE), which will cater to the global oil and gas sector.
The government funding will be used for training people and research and development (R&D) purposes at the new facility, while Baker Hughes’ own investment will be leveraged to improve infrastructure and operations.
Subsea equipment that will be designed and manufactured at the CoE is meant to assist global oil and gas activity, including 10,000ft water depths offshore West Africa and Australia, the Gulf of Mexico and even remote oilfields such as the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway.
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Baker Hughes Subsea Production Systems & Services vice-president Graham Gillies said: “We have to challenge ourselves to find more efficient, smarter ways to reduce cost and increase productivity, driving greater value for our customers.
“We also need to develop the skills of our existing workforce, and bring on the future generations to ensure we are well-positioned and ready to adopt the new ways of working demanded by a pioneering digital manufacturing environment.”
The advanced manufacturing tools and processes at the new facility are expected to enhance its efficiency and productivity.
These advancements comprise virtual reality tools for digital assembly of equipment, automation for certain activities, sensor-equipped machines to allow real-time view of data for customers, 3D printers for fast development of fully functional prototypes, and laser measuring devices.
Meanwhile, the CoE will conduct on R&D to devise new technologies in order to minimise costs, improve productivity and reduce the carbon footprint.