Responsive Engineering Expands into Port of Blyth with New Quayside Fabrication Facility

20th August 2018

The Rapid Manufacturing Services team at the Blyth site

Responsive Engineering is expanding into the Port of Blyth with a new fabrication facility to provide specialist services to the North East’s growing offshore energy sector.

Part of global engineering firm Reece Group, Responsive Engineering operates in a wide range of markets including oil and gas, subsea, offshore renewables, nuclear, rail and defence.

As the business continues to diversify, its new division – Rapid Manufacturing Services Ltd (RMS) – will focus on the mobilisation and demobilisation of offshore vessels from its base in a satellite fabrication workshop at the Port of Blyth, Northumberland.

In addition to the new quayside location, Rapid Manufacturing Services also has its own designated facilities within Responsive’s 33,300m2 manufacturing space in the Armstrong Works, Newcastle.

Graeme Campbell, director, Responsive Engineering, who heads up the new division, said: “The launch of Rapid Manufacturing Services is an exciting next step for Responsive.

“Our base here in the Port of Blyth enables us to provide a faster, more bespoke response to our customers’ needs, supported by the facilities and skilled workforce in the Armstrong Works.

Martin Lawlor, chief executive, Port of Blyth and Graeme Campbell, director, Responsive Engineering

“We can now offer an integrated supply chain solution for large, high-value sub-assemblies such as subsea wind turbine jackets, as well as supporting the port operator’s tactical operational requirements.

“We also hope to develop closer strategic relationships with our customers already located here and greater collaboration with the increasing number of engineering companies at the port.

“The team has a wealth of experience in the energy sector, having worked for Responsive on major national contracts and they are eager to get involved with the innovative engineering taking place in this growing offshore energy hub. We aim to quickly grow our order book and generate new roles in a number of specialised areas.”

The opening of the new fabrication facility coincides with major investment in machinery at Responsive’s Armstrong Works facility. Owned by parent company Reece Group, it is also home to group companies Pearson Engineering, a defence manufacturer, and Reece Innovation, which pioneers new technologies.

Investment includes the latest robotic welding equipment and Mazak machinery that will improve the firm’s manufacturing service to customers, particularly in the energy, defence and rail markets.

Reece Group executive chairman, John Reece, said: “Port of Blyth is one of the UK’s fastest growing ports with a reputation for innovation and excellence.

Rapid Manufacturing Services arrive at Blyth

“We are looking forward to playing a part in its continued expansion as its ambitious plans aim to create jobs and prosperity for the regional economy.”

Home to offshore energy market leaders such as Global Marine Group, Royal IHC, DeepOcean, Osbit ORE Catapult, GE and EDF Energy Renewables, Port of Blyth has a growing reputation as a major UK offshore energy support base in a North East subsea industry estimated to be worth £1bn.

The port has ambitious plans for creating hundreds of jobs on the former Blyth Power Station site as part of the £25m Energy Central initiative in partnership with Northumberland County Council.

Earlier this year, the port announced a £12m finance facility that will aid its expansion, with money being used for new warehousing, strengthening quays and the installation of new cranes.

Martin Lawlor, chief executive, Port of Blyth, said: “We are delighted to welcome a company of the calibre of Responsive Engineering to the Port of Blyth and look forward to a successful long-term relationship.

“The addition of Rapid Manufacturing Services’ machining and specialist fabrication capability to the port’s extensive supply chain further strengthens Blyth’s position as one of the UK’s leading offshore energy project and manufacturing support bases.

“It represents an excellent strategic fit for the port and reflects our ambitions moving forward as we prepare for significant growth in the offshore renewables, oil & gas and decommissioning sectors.”