Development could create up to 70 jobs.
Minister for Business Fergus Ewing has broken ground on a new £4million testing facility created by oil and gas supply chain firm Sonomatic in Aberdeen.
Sonomatic is a market leader in the development and provision of automated non-destructive (NDT) ultrasonic inspection and related integrity services for the oil and gas, power generation and defence sectors.
Sonomatic's direct investment in the NDT and Rope Access facility is in excess of £4 million, including the land, building and fit-out costs. The overall investment will maintain 50 jobs within the construction industry to build the facility. It is likely to create around 15 full time jobs in the short term with a predicted 70 full-time jobs in the longer term.
Mr Ewing said:
"While it is clear that the oil and gas industry faces severe challenges from a low global oil price, today's investment from Sonomatic underlines the many opportunities which remain through our world class supply chain and I look forward to seeing this exciting project develop.
"Earlier today, the oil and gas industry leadership group – of which I am co-chair – published a refreshed oil and gas strategy offering a shared path for industry, governments and the Oil and Gas Authority to follow in working together to support the industry and its world class supply chain.
"In addition, the First Minister visited Aberdeen last week to announce funding of £24.5 million – part of a £400 million package of support for the North East – to boost research and development, kick-start innovation projects and help industry workers develop new skills.
"With 22 billion barrels of oil and gas remaining, the sector can still have a strong future – and I am pleased to be here in Aberdeen's The Core today to get work underway on this very welcome, and necessary, project."
Tracy Anderson, UK Business Development Manager, Sonomatic, said:
"Sonomatic remains committed to its investment plans despite the current market conditions. We believe the long term prospects of the Oil and Gas industry in the North Sea lie firmly with working with our clients to help them achieve higher levels of business performance.
"The location of our new NDT and Rope Access facility has been chosen very carefully selected with consideration given to our clients logistical needs as they endeavour to meet critical turnaround times. In addition to serving clients in Aberdeen, we are hoping to meet clients requirements from all over Scotland by taking full advantage of local infrastructure the A90 and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR.).
"Despite the changing market in Aberdeen, we have ambitious plans for the business beyond NDT services. The new facility will enable us to better deliver Sonomatic's unique inspection planning and analysis methods."
Sonomatic is a market leader in the development and provision of automated non-destructive ultrasonic inspection and related integrity services for the oil and gas, power generation and defence sectors. It has operational bases in Aberdeen and Warrington in the UK, Perth and Brisbane in Australia, Abu Dhabi and Muscat in The Midde East, Johannesburg, Secunda and Vanderbijl Park in South Africa, and North Carolina and Houston in the US.