By Liz White, UT staffAberdeen, Scotland-Scottish engineering and manufacturing company, Balmoral Group, has re-established a subsea division-Balmoral Offshore Engineering-in response to rapidly growing market demand in this sector."With the growth in subsea activity we are in no doubt that there is a requirement for an independent UK global supplier and have been encouraged by many to return to the market at this time," said Balmoral's chairman and MD, Jim Milne, in a company statement. "These are exciting times for the offshore energy industry," Milne continued, adding that a number of subsea projects predicted many years ago are now coming to fruition, "leading to high levels of enquiries for buoyancy and elastomer products."Balmoral's new design and production business for polymer products for the subsea sector will build on expertise already in the group, since Balmoral's Hitec Buoyancy division offered subsea products for more than 20 years from the early 1980s. This unit supplied high-profile projects such as Girassol, Amethyst and Triton Ceiba, said Balmoral. But in 2003, Balmoral and CRP Group set up a joint venture, CRP Balmoral, to serve the sector, and Balmoral stopped its own activities.Now that CRP has been taken over by Trelleborg, this JV has ended, which prompted Milne and his team to move rapidly to meet the new demand. "Fortunately the wealth of technical, production and management experience created over the last 25 years has been retained within Balmoral and this will allow us to move back into the market very quickly," Milne commented.Balmoral Offshore Engineering is now setting up the means to design, manufacture and test products including rigid and dynamic riser buoyancy, surface and midwater buoyancy, ROV/AUV and umbilical flotation as well as a range of elastomer products including bend restrictors and stiffeners, riser and cable protection, VIV strakes, clamps and saddles. Balmoral said its hydrostatic test centre is being upgraded to be able to test to the equivalent of over 4000 m depth. Capital has been allocated for the new business, although the group did not put a figure on this." We have space at our corporate HQ in Aberdeen to accommodate Balmoral Offshore Engineering's requirements and are currently installing new plant as well as recruiting for the business. Significant potential exists for new jobs in the short term with the longer term outlook looking even more promising," said Milne. "We aim to provide the industry with a single source for all its buoyancy and elastomer design and product needs," and Balmoral can offer on-time delivery from its brand new processing plant, supplying "on a worldwide basis," Milne concluded.PIC: John Milne, Balmoral Group ceo... "Exciting times for the offshore energy industry."