£56m funding boost for ROVOP to bolster fleet and create up to 80 jobs


ROVOP Limited, an operator of underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), is to immediately increase its fleet by 50% to meet ongoing customer demand following a funding boost of £56m.

Blue Water Energy and BGF have jointly committed to the funding which underpins ROVOP’s ambitious future growth plans including the creation of potentially up to 80 jobs.

ROVOP, which has bases in Aberdeen and Houston, employs more than 180 people in onshore and offshore roles, and operates 16 of the world’s most advanced ROVs.

The funding has enabled the company to increase its fleet immediately to 24 ROVs with the new assets being acquired from Tidewater in Houston. Tidewater owns and operates one of the largest fleets of offshore support vessels globally.

Since being co-founded in 2011 by the CEO Steven Gray, and chairman Mark Vorenkamp, ROVOP has been 100% focused on the provision of ROV services to the oil and gas, offshore wind, telecoms and power transmission industries. Along with ROVs, the company provides highly-experienced operators trained at its own specialised in-house training facilities.

Steven said: “The past few years have seen customers recognise the difference in our quality of service. This latest investment allows us to continue to deliver this service to more customers, especially in the US where much of the new fleet has being acquired from Tidewater. The combination of the latest ROVs with our current assets mean that we will have the highest quality ROV fleet globally.

“With BGF’s support, we have already established ourselves as a leading specialist in our field. The new partnership with Blue Water Energy will cement this further and accelerate our ambitious growth plans to become the leading independent ROV company. We look forward to working with Graeme Sword and the team from Blue Water Energy.”

“This funding package allows an immediate step change for our business, and secures the funding required to execute our growth plans over the coming years – serving our customers better and in more locations around the world.”

He added: “As part of this new company chapter, Mark Vorenkamp is taking the opportunity to retire from the company and I’d like to thank him for his enormous contribution to ROVOP over the past six years. Mark has been an exceptional asset and mentor to the business at many levels. He will be hugely missed by the team and we wish him all the very best for the future.”

BGF first invested £10.6m in ROVOP in April, 2015, and has since supported the company twice more with additional funding to grow the fleet.

Mike Sibson, of BGF, said the investment represented an exciting phase in the development and growth of ROVOP: “BGF’s strategy is to continue to invest in our most successful businesses, and we are delighted to welcome the Blue Water team on board. ROVOP has weathered the storm caused by the oil industry downturn by providing the best equipment, the best people, and the best service to customers who need high reliability and efficiency. This partnership makes a step change in our ability to meet those customers’ demands.”

Graeme Sword, partner at BWE, said: “We look forward to the opportunity to work with an entrepreneur like Steven to drive further growth at ROVOP. Over the past six years, ROVOP has established itself as a high-quality provider of ROV services to many of the leading oil and gas companies globally. As the energy market continues to grow for this specialist service, we see Steven and his team as the best placed to capitalise on this.”

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