A newly-established energy services business based in Aberdeen has completed its third acquisition this year in a bid to create a £100 million turnover operation.

Aurora Energy Services has taken over Caithness-based Northern Marine Services (NMS), a lifting and inspection specialist, for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2017 by Alasdair Noble, NMS has extensive expertise in supporting windfarm turbine inspections, telecom mast installations, and infrastructure projects which require innovative access solutions.

Mr Noble will continue to lead the rebranded Aurora NMS as lifting and marine services director. Supported by fresh investment from its parent company, the business will roll out its niche services across the UK in an attempt to replicate its success in the north of Scotland with a variety of windfarm, hydropower, telecoms and rail network clients.

“We are finding that many utility companies, which are an important part of our client base, are more comfortable dealing with larger businesses," Mr Noble said. "In becoming part of the Aurora group, we now have that scale and financial and organisational backing which utilities are seeking, and we believe this will take the business to a higher level."

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As part of this expansion, Aurora NMS expects to create 10 new jobs or trainee positions within the next three years.

“With investment from Aurora, we can drive forward the business in ways which were simply out of reach previously, and we are excited that we will be able to offer opportunities for the local workforce in Wick not just locally, but internationally, as Aurora NMS grows its market share and geographic reach," Mr Noble added.

Owned by energy sector entrepreneurs Doug Duguid and Michael Buchan through their I7V Renewables investment fund, Aurora launched earlier this year with the acquisitions of Inverness Access Training Services and Huntly-based offshore services and fabrication company R&M Engineering. It now employs 175 people with a forecast turnover of £20m this year.

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“Alasdair Noble has built an excellent business across a number of diverse sectors and NMS’s strong track record in renewables aligns well with our own ambitions of becoming a leading energy services provider," said Mr Duguid, Aurora's chief executive.

“Aurora will invest capital in NMS to strengthen its regular and specialist lifting equipment and vehicle assets and provide an infrastructure to introduce its unique offering to a wider client base out with its north west Scotland heartland. We will also put resources into recruiting staff and offering trainee opportunities in and around Wick, which as a Scottish business is an important element of our overall growth strategy."

Aurora’s business plan is to create a £100m international energy services provider over the next five years by mirroring the energy industry’s transition from oil and gas, and by developing a strong presence in the wind, solar, hydrogen, carbon capture, pumped hydro and waste-to-energy sectors. It has committed £750,000 to establish a renewable energy training centre in Inverness.