Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) is relocating its servicing operations to the Port of Tyne’s Tyne Dock estate in South Shields.
The Tyneside based manufacturing company is already a global leader in building remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), deployed underwater in the global oil and gas, telecommunications and renewables industries.
SMD’s head office and heavy production facility will remain in Wallsend and the company will continue to manufacture ROVs at the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate in North Shields. Servicing, maintenance and training operations will transfer to the new facility at the Port of Tyne.
The firm will occupy a 23,000 sqft unit at Tyne Dock, which has been modified to offer bespoke accommodation for SMD.
Inside, the company will be carrying out repairs and upgrades, and will offer training via state-of-the-art simulation technology designed to mimic sea conditions. With an eaves height of up to 8.1 metres, SMD has space for large-scale equipment and benefits from a large, secure storage yard, dedicated parking and high-speed fibre optic data lines to ensure it can stay in constant communication with clients across the globe.
Graham Puntis, SMD Managing Director, Services, said: “As well as focusing on new builds, SMD Services enables us to increase our presence in the after-market by helping customers to get the most out of their assets so they can remain where they should be – at sea – for as long as possible.
“The move to Port of Tyne is about a number of factors, including location. We need good access for offshore vessels bringing equipment directly to us for repair, maintenance or overhaul. As this aspect of our work continues to grow the move also provides us with the necessary expansion capacity.
SMD currently employs 220 people with 50 members of staff now based at Port of Tyne, and that figure is due to rise to 80, plus additional offshore support workers as operations continue to expand.
Alasdair Kerr, Port of Tyne Commercial Director Port Services, said: “We have adapted one of our multi-purpose units to accommodate SMD. It’s tailored to SMD’s needs and represents a major investment for the business and for Port of Tyne.
“We look forward to being part of SMD’s future success as it continues to build on its world-class reputation.”
The Port of Tyne is home to a growing number of over 100 commercial tenants that benefit from high security, easy access to global markets and a prime location based near to the A19 with direct rail access to the East Coast Main Line.