A LEADING marine engineering firm has announced ambitious plans to return to the oil and gas market, whilst maintaining its leading position in offshore renewables.

Tekmar Energy aims to generate revenue of £15m from its oil and gas operations by 2016 as part of a strategy to increase overall turnover from £22m to £50m and create between 30 and 50 new jobs.

The company, headquartered in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. is also looking to open a base in Aberdeen whilst expanding its existing operations in the North-East.

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The firm, which employs 75 people will more than treble its headquarters to102,000sq ft, with bosses saying they want to use the expansion as a catalyst for business growth.

Founded in 1985, the firm initially specialised in oil and gas before moving into the expanding offshore renewables industry when it developed bespoke protection systems for cables that connect wind turbines.

James Richie, Tekmar's chief executive, said: “Within the rapidly expanding subsea oil and gas sector, there is rising demand for high quality, reliable protection systems for subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines. We are gearing up to respond to this need with a flexible, high quality service and reduced delivery times.

“Oil and gas is an area we already know and understand and we feel the time is right for us to return to this sector. The industry rightly demands the highest quality in delivery and safety standards and we have a strong history of meeting these requirements.”

Over the past five years Tekmar has installed more than 1,200 cable protection systems and has a further 1,000 in design or manufacture for the 26 windfarms it has been involved in across Europe.

The firm’s specially developed Teklink system provides enhanced cable life and resilience – reducing the risk of damage and requirement for maintenance. Teklink can also be installed without the use of divers and also removes the requirement for a j-tube.