Marine Hub Cornwall
A world of marine technology in one outstanding region

Severn Subsea Technologies

Severn Subsea Technologies is a leading innovator in control systems for marine renewables and in high integrity pressure protection systems for the oil and gas industries.

26 | Feb | 2018

Severn Subsea Technologies (SST) developed out of Calidus Engineering, which was founded in 1999 and originally part of Camborne School of Mines. It began as a specialist in downhole engineering for the geothermal industry. Five years ago, the company was bought by the Severn Glocon Group and since then the business has been focussed on subsea valve technology and renewables. SST is based at Redruth in Cornwall and currently employs 18 people.

Next generation in wave energy

As the marine renewables sector has grown worldwide, SST has been highly successful in the design of control and electrical systems for wave energy converters. A recent success has been winning the contract to design elements of the control and electrical systems for ‘WaveSub’. This is a next generation wave energy converter which is being developed by Marine Power Systems, a company based in Wales. SST’s experience means they are ideally qualified to design technologies which operate effectively in harsh marine environments. The system that has been delivered by SST is scheduled for trials at the FaBTest site managed by the University of Exeter in Spring of 2018.

Tim Blake, who is Site Manager for SST, explains what sets the company apart.

Integrated approach

"One of the key competitive advantages of SST is our fully integrated approach and the sheer range of our capabilities. We have a tightly-knit team made up of highly qualified experts in the fields of mechanical, electrical and software engineering. This allows us to deliver a comprehensive service to our customers and R&D plays a fundamental role in many of the projects we undertake.

"In 2014 we diversified into control systems for the marine renewables industry and we have made excellent progress in this field. Our team are outstanding at creating power, control, communication and telemetry systems that can operate in any conditions.

"Another major future growth area for our business is the design of High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems (HIPPS) for topside and subsea oil and gas installations. Our knowledge of international product standards and certified quality systems allows us to meet the high level of quality assurance demanded for client acceptance of these Safety Instrumented Systems. Here again, our skills in integration set us apart from the competition. There are many companies who can provide the individual elements of a HIPPS, but we have a real talent for integrating complex systems together, utilising a wide range of valves, logic solvers and other components.

Becoming a world leader

"In this way, we can offer a total project solution for our clients. We have just delivered a successful HIPPS for a customer in South Korea and are now working on a new project for a client in Indonesia. We are rapidly growing our international reputation in this field and our vision is to become a world leader in High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems."

Cornwall has proved to be an excellent location for the business. Tim says:

"The premises that we have here at Redruth are superb. They were built with grant support from the European Regional Development Fund. This has enabled us to create a purpose-built facility with everything we require for the large-scale assembly work we undertake. Systems such as HIPPS have to be put through very rigorous safety testing, and we can carry all this out at our Redruth site. There are great transport links out of Cornwall as well as outstanding superfast broadband connectivity so we have no problems in reaching our international market.

New thinking and innovation

"Over recent years, Cornwall has become a real hotbed of activity in the marine renewables industry, and obviously this is very beneficial for our business. We can network with some of the major companies and leading experts in this field, with the added benefit of easy access to outstanding testing facilities. The advent of the Marine-i project has also helped to promote new thinking and innovation in marine technology. And added to this, the quality of life that we enjoy here in Cornwall is exceptional."

Tim concludes:

"We have operated very successfully from Cornwall for over 18 years and we are now in a really exciting phase of development for our business. We have the potential to become a large global player in HIPPS and a leading innovator in control systems for marine renewables. We have built the strong foundations that are creating brilliant opportunities for future growth."

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