A Thurso based engineering company which has been supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has successfully diversified into the offshore wind industry.
Calder Engineering Ltd has been supplying cabins to the offshore oil and gas industry for 12 months and has recently won a contract to supply them to the renewables industry.
The company secured a deal to provide a suite of offshore cabins for the Sheringham Shoal wind farm project, ten miles off the Norfolk coastline.
Up until a few years ago a large amount of the company's work was sited at the Dounreay nuclear site until the decommissioning programme got underway and work there began to slow down. However, ambitious to look at new markets for their fabrication and engineering services, the company began designing their own range of certified offshore cabins. The company has been working in the oil and gas supply chain for over ten years and broke into this new market with specialist support through HIE's account management model.
The business has made best use of HIE's advisory support to develop plans to pursue contracts for Calder Offshore Cabins for the oil and gas sector and also to the new dynamic offshore wind sector.
Based at Thurso's Ormlie Industrial Estate, the highly skilled specialist company, which currently employs 18 staff, was set up by Colin and Marena Calder in 1988. Since diversifying into the new market they have been able to create six new skilled full-time posts.
The company's quality fitted-out cabins are designed, fabricated and fitted to customers exact requirements and can be used for a range of functions including accommodation, control rooms, laboratories and workshops.
Keith Muir, account manager for HIE, said: "We are working closely with Calder Engineering in Thurso and are delighted to have supported them to diversify into this new market. The investment brings benefits for the business, its staff and the wider community.
"The team is gaining extra skills and expertise in a highly specialised, high-value sector and their abilities will provide a valuable asset to the area's engineering supply chain for the renewable energy sector."
Marena Calder, managing director of Calder Engineering said: "The development of wind energy presents significant opportunities for us. The help we've received from HIE in terms of business knowledge and marketing has been invaluable. As this new market faces many of the same environmental challenges that we worked with in the oil and gas industry, we feel we are well placed with our engineering capacity and skilled workforce that is needed to seize these new significant opportunities. By moving into manufacture and fit out of offshore cabins, we have been able to build on our turnover and increase our workforce."