Scunthorpe specialist construction company invests in the right direction

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 24 May 2017

A £1 million investment in a UK-leading huge drilling rig has been completed by Scunthorpe’s AMS No-Dig as it gears up to handle an increase in orders.

The Brigg Road business is now on site at Horseshoe Point for Dong Energy as it takes the role of principal contractor when it comes to bringing the offshore cable onshore, breaching the sea wall in an established flood zone.

And it is also winning work across other major utilities as it ‘drills where you can’t dig’.

The 250 tonne machine will be a second added to the portfolio, bringing peace of mind with back-up while also stretching capacity for the 25-year-old team.

Pete Guilliatt, operations manager, said: “We are pricing more and more of that work, a lot of it is related to wind farms, but not all, there is quite a lot of outfall work from the sewerage industry.”

The business, which occupies a highly visible site opposite the steel works, began with a 17 tonne machine, picking up on an infrastructure trend which began in America in the Fifties and made its way to Europe. 

While the rig is a seven figure investment, the equipment to support it, such as mud processing, pumping and recycling plant, sees the spend matched again. 

“We drill where you can’t dig, railways, runways, rivers and the like,” said Mr Guilliatt, who has been with the firm for the past 19 years.

“We are in the right place for the wind work, though we do work across the UK. Presently we have jobs in Northern Ireland and northern Scotland. It is a good industry for sure, a limited market and we are the largest independent directional company in UK, perhaps Europe.”

Jobs range from a single day to four months, and the Hornsea work “on the doorstep,” is mid-range, with a six week estimate. 

“It is the first we are principal contractor on, rather than sub-contracting to,” Mr Guilliatt explained.

Matt Tomlin, quantity surveyor, said there was a strong stipulation of local labour in the contract.

“They were very big on using local,” he said.

The new unit will arrive mid-summer. “If we win the jobs we are pricing we will need to purchase more,” Mr Guilliatt enthused.  

The Maxi Drilling Rig offers 250 tonnes of thrust and pullback with 90,000Nm of rotary torque making it the most powerful rig based in Britain. It now means conduits up to 1.5m diameter and bores in excess of 2km are within scope.

Alongside it, the high performance Derrick recycling unit has been designed to process 3,000 litres of high viscosity drilling fluid per minute and comprises two Derrick Equipment FLC-504 shale shakers for primary screening and a Derrick FLC-504 mud cleaner complete with de-sander and de-silter cones.

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