A NEW chief executive officer has been appointed at a specialist firm delivering safety critical solutions for some of the UK’s largest industrial facilities.

Geoff Holmes has today been announced as the new boss overseeing px, which employs more 450 specialists based in Stockton. The former board member at Oil and Gas UK has been drafted in to help bolster the company’s next phase of growth.

Mr Holmes joins px from his role as the chief operating officer of INEOS Upstream Services and has held senior positions at Chevron, KCA Deutag and Talisman.

In 2018, px reported profits has doubled within three years. With Mr Holmes’ appointment in place, the group can target replicating their recent success in the field.

Christopher Picotte, non-executive chairman at px, said: “px has achieved remarkable growth in recent years, supported by the acquisition of key assets like Saltend Chemicals Park.

“px is known as a specialist, independent operator of complex and technically-challenging assets.

“Geoff’s appointment as chief executive officer means we are well-positioned to achieve even greater success across a portfolio of sectors.”

Stockton-based px was established as an indepedent business in 2002 and with an operating history going back to 1992. In 2016, the group took on the contract to operate and maintain the St Fergus gas processing plant in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

It also operates Teesside Gas Processing Plant, gas pipeline operations in the North Sea and power generating plants on Teesside, and in Cumbria, Lincolnshire and Wales.

Mr Holmes will now be overseeing the firm supplying owner’s engineering and project management services on the construction of the world’s largest, new build, biomass combined heat and power station at Teesport.

The Aberdeen University graduate also served as a member of the leadership team at Step Change in Safety, a member-led organisation aiming to make the UK the safest place to work in the worldwide oil and gas industry.

In March 2016, Blue Water Energy, a specialist private equity energy fund, acquired a majority shareholding in px and since then the group has embarked on a strategic growth plan.

The first step of that plan saw px acquire the 370-acre Saltend Industrial Park, near Hull, in 2018, where it provides energy, infrastructure, operations and maintenance services to companies including Air Products, BP, Engie, INEOS, Nippon Gohsei, Perenco, Vivergo and Yara.