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SBS acquires major new operating base in Heysham

SBS Logistics Ltd, one of the UK oil and gas industry's leading logistics company, has acquired its first operating hub outside Scotland, with the award of a five-year contract from Centrica Energy to operate and develop its supply base in Heysham, Lancashire, with options to extend until the end of the economic life of the Liverpool Bay Asset or Morecambe Fields.

SBS Director Murdo MacIver will be re-locating to the Head Office in Aberdeen to take over responsibility for Heysham in addition to his existing responsibility for Shetland. About 20 locally based employees in Heysham will be transferred to SBS on 1st July, increasing SBS's employee numbers to over 200.

The Heysham base supports all of the oil and gas activity in the Irish Sea, including the requirements of Centrica Energy subsidiary Hydrocarbon Resources Ltd, which operates the Morecambe gas fields in the Irish Sea, and BHP Billiton, which operates the Liverpool Bay Asset in a Joint Venture Partnership with ENI UK Ltd. The base comprises a 20 acre site with quayside access and includes 50,000ft2 of warehousing and a 4000t fuel storage facility.

Mike Porter, Managing Director of SBSL, said: “We secured this contract by competitive tender and by demonstrating a track record in recent years of operating a safe and effective logistics business and identifying underperforming facilities and turning them around.

“At our Greenhead base in Shetland we have increased turnover and profit significantly in the last five years whilst at the same time reducing its reliance on the oil and gas industry.

“In 1999 SBS also set up a storage and distribution centre at the former RAF Edzell site and in 2004 added a warehouse and yard in Aberdeen deemed to be surplus to requirements by a major oil company. This business unit now generates £4m of revenue per annum and employs over 40 staff.

“When looking at new sites we look at the quality of the facility, the skills of the workforce and the potential in the market. In Heysham we saw all three and were keen to get involved.

“Our task over the next five years is challenging but clear. Firstly we need to maintain the standards of safety and service enjoyed by HRL & BHP Billiton to date and secondly we need to diversify and create a sustainable business beyond the life of oil and gas in that region.”

Centrica Energy Asset Manager Morecambe Area, Kevin Cochrane said: “Centrica Energy's Morecambe Gas Fields are an important source of gas for the UK and we were pleased along with BHP Billiton to award an initial 5 year contract to SBS who have a proven track record of adding value to the logistics supply chain.”

SBS provides integrated logistics support to blue chip clients in the UK oil and gas and other industries from its bases in Lerwick, Aberdeen, Edzell and Heysham. Services include quayside operations, road transport and craneage hire, property rental and materials management services, fuel storage and decommissioning. The company employs a total of 215 staff.

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