A SUBSEA engineering firm has secured new work after investing in machinery to strengthen its industry position.

Modus Seabed Intervention, based in Darlington, is using a 150hp remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

Bosses say it will allow the company to carry out inspection, repair and maintenance work, as well as survey, drilling and construction support.

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The move has already allowed Modus to secure work on a new build cable laying vessel in Spain for a Dutch contractor.

The company is now targeting more work in ultra-deep 3,000-metre environments and is pushing on with plans to break into Kuala Lumpur and the Asia Pacific market.

The ROV, which includes a launch and recovery system, has come from Schilling Robotics, in Davis, California.

Jake Tompkins, Modus’ managing director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Schilling and to continue our fleet development and investment programme into specialist subsea technology with this leading edge ROV.

“One of its most impressive features is that it is built much like a Formula One car.

“It’s like a pit stop; parts come off in single units and are replaced in their entirety.”

Peter MacInnes, from Schilling Robotics, added: “The ROV has proven to be a rugged and highly capable system ideal for the varied operational markets supported by Modus.

“We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract and look forward to supporting them with their focus and continued growth in the subsea industry.”

The firm already works with unmanned water vehicles, and last year received its first autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

The company, which also bought an advanced remotely-operated vehicle from Queen's Award-winning Soil Machine Dynamics, of Wallsend, near Newcastle, has plans to set up a fleet of independent underwater units to survey and inspect offshore energy projects.

Mr Tompkins added: “The requirements of the offshore industries demand innovative, technology-led solutions.

“We apply focused solutions to meet the challenges of offshore developments and the AUV capability will play a major part in the support we can offer to the industry.

“Our extensive offshore track-record will ensure this technology is an effective addition to our services.”

Modus previously secured a major deal to dig trenches for the cables linking the Teesside wind farm, which stands 1.5km off the coast of Redcar, to the mainland.

The contract, with EDF Energy Renewables, saw Modus' 16-strong team carry out work from its base on the banks of the River Tees.