Duke of Kent Visits IHC Engineering

Friday, April 16, 2010

HRH The Duke of Kent recently visited IHC Engineering Business (EB) touring the company’s Stocksfield (Northumberland) office and meeting members of the EB team including Chairman, Dr Tony Trapp and Managing Director, Toby Bailey.

“It is a great honour to have received this visit, following the visit of the Duke of Gloucester less than two years ago, and so soon after we received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in 2009,” said Toby Bailey. “His Royal Highness was particularly interested to hear about the pipelay systems that we are currently constructing at Teesside. The larger of the two comprises of 2500 tonnes of complex equipment and is bigger than the Tyne Bridge. He expressed interest in returning to the North East to see the completed systems, and is especially keen to see them fully installed on their vessels that are under construction in the Far East.”

Currently EB is in the process of delivering two quite different major pipelay systems for two of the world’s largest offshore contractors. One is French and one Italian.

“In meeting members of our team, HRH The Duke of Kent was able to get a good understanding of the development of EB’s business over the past 13 years with a description of the wide range of specialist design and build projects we undertake,” said Toby Bailey. “He talked to some of our key engineers about the complex technology involved in the two pipelay systems and the unique nature of the engineering being developed by the business.”

EB was founded 13 years ago.  The founding owners and directors were all students or staff at Newcastle University in the late seventies in the Agricultural Engineering Department, the company is now part of the IHC Merwede Group.

EB has been active in offshore wind turbine installation and is the major supplier of cable trenching equipment for this expanding market. A $46.3b offshore wind investment is planned for Dogger Bank as part of the recent Round Three announcements by The Crown Estate. “As this is quite local to Newcastle, we hope to play a significant part in this major development,” said Toby Bailey.


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