The growing move towards sustainability has led to a slowdown within the oil and gas industry in recent years, so Aberdeen-based lifting, rigging, service, rental and wire rope product provider EMM Corp has understandably been looking at other sectors where it can add growth utilising its extensive experience, skills and strong industry position.
“With continuous growth, through expansion to new markets such as renewable energy, civils and construction, along with our pursuit of excellence, we have gained extensive industry insight and a deep understanding of our clients’ needs. In return, we expanded our capacity and available stock, further invested into our people and scaled up on innovative production technologies,” as Richard Seaton, Operations Director, and David Coutts, Commercial Manager, recently outlined to Construction Industry News.
Since its establishment in 1996, EMM’s main business has involved lifting, rigging and marine mooring equipment, with specialist wire rope products also being particularly high on its agenda. In 1998 it was acquired by Usha Martin Group, one of the world’s largest wire rope manufacturers, becoming an operating division within the organisation in the process. While now part of a much larger group of companies, EMM remains a very service orientated and client focused business.
While it is carrying out an increasing amount of work in other sectors, at the moment EMM continues to primarily operate within the oil and gas industry, both domestically and internationally. This sector is currently seeing an uplift, as Mr Seaton sympathises: “The unfortunate global energy crisis has certainly been a catalyst behind the regeneration in oil and gas as countries, such as the UK, are having to reconsider their reliance on the importation of foreign energy.”
EMM Corp has been involved in renewables from the early trial stages in Norway through to the full field development of Hywind. Further renewables work scopes include the Pentland Firth tidal power array, Kincardine, Moray East, Seagreen and NnG wind farm projects.
Mr Coutts added: “Offshore wind is a growing market and presents new opportunities for the company. We collaborate with our existing client partners, who are also transitioning into renewables, as well as individual cluster organisations and supply chain management groups. From the early stages we can help design and implement efficient fit for purpose solutions.”
Building on its enviable operations and large stock holding which EMM operates out of a single site in Aberdeen, the company further benefits from its Group’s resources. Usha Martin, EMM Corp’s parent company, ranks among the largest global manufacturers and providers of engineering and specialised wire ropes. While UK-based sister company, Brunton Shaw, manufactures high-tech crane, lifting and winch wire ropes and is quickly becoming a preferred supplier to the renewables and construction sector both offshore and for the onshore stages.
“Product quality and traceability has always been a key requirement from our clients,” Mr Seaton added. “We are well positioned to provide an extended value chain which meets the highest industry standards, to our existing and new clients.”
“Meeting our clients’ needs hasn’t been an issue, as we’re very resilient, adaptable and able to react extremely quickly, especially as we always hold such good stock levels,” said Mr Coutts. “These strengths are based on the excellent workforce that we have been able to develop. We have a very good retention of employees, many of which have been with us for ten-plus years, if not 20-plus. This means we have a tremendous amount of experience and capability in-house and can put the right people where they are needed almost instantly.”
Being able to draw upon a loyal workforce doesn’t come about by accident, and Mr Seaton believes that the commitment and support the company has dedicated to the development of its employees has been key.
“We have a multi-skilled, multi-disciplined workforce and this is something we’ve worked very hard on over the years. This has led to a high degree of ‘cross-pollination’ between disciplines within the organisation. This ability to adapt is extremely important.”
It is clear that EMM’s workforce has provided the firm foundations on which the company has been built, allowing it to grow and develop for over two and a half decades. “Our longevity is due to a combination of our people and the reputation we have built for service and our ‘can do’ attitude. This approach is driven from the very top, while we are also very selective about the products we supply and use. Going for the quality option that we know we can rely on, rather than risk cutting corners. Due to the nature of their work, our clients have to get every project right first time, so they need to know they can trust us and our products to do the job. We’ve therefore aligned ourselves with the premium brands, while our wire rope product is manufactured by a business unit within the wider Usha Martin group, regarded as one of the world’s best.
“Ultimately our staff, our commitment to service and the quality of the products are the reason why we are still going so strongly over 25 years later.”
As befits a company that has chalked up so many years of operation, EMM has always kept an eye out for opportunities to grow and develop. This approach has seen it exploring possibilities within civils and construction, sectors it is keen to be more closely associated with.
“We may be primarily an oil and gas service company but we certainly have the skills and experience to adapt to the needs of emerging energy markets, as well as civils and construction,” says Mr Coutts. “The renewables side is an area where we see a lot of potential down the line, particularly as floating and moored offshore wind farms will become an increasingly familiar sight around the UK coastline in ten years’ time. This in turn will create some significant onshore construction projects as the supporting infrastructure is developed. Many of our client base within the oil and gas industry, such as the sub-sea construction-type businesses, are transitioning to renewables and many are now working on wind projects rather than oil and gas. This has given us something of a stepping stone into this sector.
“In terms of the civils work, we are currently targeting large civil construction projects, particularly as there’s a significant amount of building work being undertaken at the moment as part of infrastructure improvements. We’re therefore seeing opportunities coming through in this area too.
“From the construction side, we are also looking at general rigging supply through to replacement crane wires, heavy lift rigging and spreader bars, with many materials available from stock, available as new supply, rental packages or client owned materials refurbished and recertified. All supported by a range of site services such as load testing, cable spooling and NDT. Due to the already mentioned skilled workforce and large stock holding, we can prepare equipment at short notice to ship anywhere in the UK and beyond, ensuring project delivery deadlines are always met.”
Having developed a lifting equipment rental side to the business, EMM has recently added an extensive range of air powered chain hoists, allied to its existing hoisting and lifting offering, all at the same high quality and supporting service levels.
“Whatever the future might bring, looking to the next 12 months and beyond we’re aiming to grow the business by becoming a valued partner in other sectors that will give real value and benefit to all.”
With the depth experience built up over the years, a sound infrastructure and well-developed workforce behind it, EMM looks well set to continue achieving its goals in the years ahead.