On the eve of administration in 2010, Paul Herbert was appointed Chief Operating Officer of SLP Engineering replacing the CEO at a critical point in the business’s history. SLP was (and is today) an engineering designer, constructor and commissioner of large accommodation modules and topside/jacket structures for the offshore oil and gas industry and had c£130m turnover and 1,400 employees.
Establishment of the trading administration
With three key offshore part finished assemblies on site, one weighing in excess of 4,000 tonnes, Paul worked with the team from PWC to gain support for a trading administration from the customers, the suppliers and the workforce union representatives.
During the 8 months of Administration, SLP’s safety performance continued to be exceptional with zero Lost Time Incidents and zero medical treatment cases, in a total of more than 1-million-yard man hours and over 50,000 offshore man hours.
The world’s largest offshore substation at 300MW was completed in and is now installed on its jacket in the Thanet wind farm.
The project close out, offshore hook-up and commissioning of EON’s Babbage platform and the 4th well at Centrica’s Chiswick platform were completed.
The BP 'Power From Shore’ and the ‘Living Quarters’ modules for the Valhall oil field were sailed away complete and were successfully installed on the deck.
Right sizing for sale
As the various projects sailed away, the contracted labour force peeled off to other oil and gas contracts and the core permanent staff were slimmed down to a fighting contingent. Importantly, the SLP team had demonstrated its world class technical and operational capability and had become an attractive business proposition.
Trade buyer Smulders Group acquired the resized business and assets of SLP Engineering out of administration. Trading today as Sembmarine SLP from the same site in Lowestoft, the business completed the fabrication of a Power Generation Module (PGM) and two bridges for the Culzean Gas Field in June 2018.