Scottish energy consultancy heads for Texas with new subsidiary

21 May 2018

Partrac, a Scottish-origin marine consultancy has chosen Houston, Texas as the launch-site for its new US subsidiary. The Texan wing – Partrac GeoMarine – offers clients the full range of consulting services provided by its Glasgow-headquartered parent company.

Partrac secured its renewable credentials when it partnered with the Scottish government and Norwegian energy company Statoil to launch the world’s first floating wind farm in the North Sea. Blue-chip clients Partrac has worked for include EDF Energy Renewables, Eon, and dredging specialist DEME. While Partac primarily developed its offshore expertise in British and European coastal waters, however, the firm feels it will be well suited to life in the US – the world’s largest and most mature consulting industry.

The formal announcement of the firm’s new venture was made during the Offshore Technology Conference held in Texas’ most populous city in May 2018. Although Partrac GeoMarine will bring its consulting expertise and technological nous to the conventional oil and gas sector, the Houston office’s primary focus will be on wind, wave and tidal energy.

Scottish energy consultancy heads for Texas with new subsidiary

Houston suffered from a recent downturn in Texas’ famous oil industry, as well as from the severe $125 billion impact of Hurricane Harvey, which ravaged the Texas Gulf last summer. However, the city has recovered strongly, and today the Houston metropolitan area is home to a growing number of renewable giants, including Sunnova and Pattern Energy, as the US energy sector looks to diversify for a future where fossil fuels look to be less in demand, while hundreds of solar companies also have a presence in the city.

According to Partrac Co-Founder Sam Athey, Houston is the ideal US hub for Partrac GeoMarine. He elaborated, “We wanted a city with a highly skilled workforce that reflects the wide range of market sectors that Partrac operates in and is within easy reach of both the Gulf and East coasts of the United States.”

Partrac has a number of unique technologies that we want to bring to the US to help solve some of the problems and answer some of the questions. “We see these as having the biggest growth potential for our services and products,” Athey added.

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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”