Laurencekirk-based Blaze Manufacturing Solutions, a provider of fire safety solutions, has won the EIC Company of the Year Award, having also landed the Diversification and Export awards at the EIC National Awards Dinner held in London on 11 October.
In 2014, all of Blaze’s revenue came from the UK oil and gas market. Hit by the industry downturn, the family-run business looked to new countries and new sectors to survive. The company’s export journey took it to the Democratic Republic of Congo, providing its safety solutions to an open copper mine – a completely new sector for the company.
In just three years Blaze has gone from being entirely reliant on the UK Continental Shelf to now obtaining 70% of its profits from exports.
Seven other awards were also handed out during the black-tie event attended by over 400 guests including Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion Baroness Rona Fairhead. The gala evening, one of the industry’s premier award ceremonies, included after dinner entertainment from TV personality and impressionist Jon Culshaw, best known for his work on Dead Ringers and Spitting Image.
The Collaboration Award was taken home by Infrastructure solutions business px. The Stockton-on-Tees company has worked with operators to reduce costs and increase efficiency at major assets such as the St Fergus gas terminal located north of Aberdeen where availability and reliability has been increased to over 99.9%.
Winner of the EIC Company of the Year Award 2017, Servelec Controls won the Digital Award, a new category launched at this year’s event. The Sheffield-based automation specialist landed the prize for its real-time information solutions. Used on Repsol Sinopec’s plants, its visualisation of vibration, temperature and data trends helped to prevent 24 days of downtime across a package of turbines, saving the operator US$9m.
Advanced Insulation’s MS400 phenolic foam panels which enable O&G companies to reduce the weight of topsides by 50% while also enhancing fire protection, insulation and blast resistance saw the Gloucester firm scoop the Innovation Award.
In a first for the EIC National Awards, joint winners were announced for the Optimisation Award, the judging panel being unable to separate Somerset’s JoBird and Middlesbrough’s Lionweld Kennedy.
Life saving and fire safety equipment storage designer and manufacturer JoBird invested in training and new manufacturing technology to increase the output of its units as well as increase quality consistency, longevity and lower life time costs.
Access engineering solutions provider Lionweld brought in specialist structural engineers to assist in the process of making its products stronger, lighter and longer lasting. The company also invested in new automated machinery that improved efficiencies, lead times and costs. Lionweld’s enhanced manufacturing processes enabled it to produce more grating panels in 2017 than ever before.
Altrincham-based global workforce solutions provider WRS landed the Service and Solutions Award, another new award category. The judging panel was impressed by its bespoke vessel crew management software, allowing all personnel details to be accessed remotely.
The Technology Award was collected by Staffordshire’s Capula, who reacted to the UK’s changing energy mix, launching its advanced digital solution, OPUS, which connects dispersed assets and data sources, covering the power, water and wind sectors in a single integrated interface, allowing organisations of any size to manage their complete operations from any location.
In addition to the company prizes, the EIC, in partnership with the Robert Gordon University, presented the EIC-RGU Rising Star MBA Award to Alpha Process Controls’ Ben Richardson.
The award is designed to develop future leaders of the oil and gas industry by providing full tuition fees (worth £17,000) for the Robert Gordon University’s MBA Oil and Gas Management course.
Commenting at the ceremony EIC CEO Stuart Broadley said, “It’s been another fantastic night, with great food, entertainment and of course great company – our members are without a doubt some of the hardest working and most dedicated people in the energy industry anywhere in the world.
“The awards categories recognise the strategies that EIC member companies of all sizes and sectors are developing to grow and flourish at home and abroad. While the winning entries were indeed very special, tonight is also about celebrating the important work all of our members do, day in day out.”