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Buoyant marine firm wins funding support


Leading Scottish marine operator Maritime Craft Services (Clyde) Ltd (“MCS”) has secured major new funding support from Clydesdale Bank.

The package, which is in excess of £20 million, will see the addition of four new vessels to MCS’ existing fleet of nine support vessels and a further expansion of its core services to the offshore wind farm industry.

The firm, which is based at Largs Yacht Haven, Ayrshire, has provided support vessels including tugs, workboats, survey craft, crew launches and crane barges to the marine construction, offshore renewables and dredging industries in the UK and worldwide since 1977. In total, the expanded fleet is valued at approximately €50 million.

MCS operates throughout Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa delivering services on a diverse range of projects including marine construction, oil and gas installation, port and harbour construction, wreck removal and diving support.

The new funding, delivered as part of Clydesdale Bank’s Investing for Growth strategy, an initiative which helps successful businesses to grow, will support the purchase of four new vessels, two of which will assist the company’s most recent move into providing support and maintenance craft for offshore wind farm and renewable energy installations.

The new 18-metre crew transfer vessel, MCS Zephyr and MCS Maestro, which are specifically designed to support wind farm construction, installation and maintenance, have started operations in European waters.

The Clydesdale Bank funding is also being used to finance the purchase of a new 26-metre Damen Shoalbuster workboat (MCS Alix) and a Damen Multicat 2611 (MCS Gemma) which were recently named at a ceremony at Damen Shipyards in Gorinchem, Holland.

MCS employs more than 110 staff, including 65 seafarers as well as 10 onshore administration staff at its Largs offices. The expansion of the company’s fleet is expected to increase turnover to approximately £13 million in 2012.

The family-run business was formed by Dutch-born managing director Dirk Kuyt, a former sea captain who has been involved in the west coast marine industry for many years. Other family members include Nikki Kuyt, Crewing and Finance Manager and Menno Kuyt, Contracts Manager who have also been instrumental in the company’s growth in recent years.

Dirk Kuyt, managing director of MCS, commented: “Following the traditionally quiet winter period across the European market, the marine sector is now looking fairly buoyant and we’re experiencing strong demand for our vessels.

“The expansion of our fleet is an integral part of our strategy to grow the company by entering new markets and, in particular, the offshore wind farm sector. Our track record already includes work such as the Belwind and Thorntonbank projects off the Belgian coast and the Bard offshore development in the German North Sea.

“Moving forward, our focus in terms of further expansion is on the renewables sector and with the development of Round 3 offshore wind farms coming on stream we envisage additional major opportunities for MCS.

“Having taken the decision around 12 months ago to focus on the renewables sector, we felt it was the correct time to review our financing options. Clydesdale Bank has been extremely supportive and made us a very good offer in terms of the additional finance we required to expand the fleet and enter this important market for the company.”

Andrew MacLean, Managing Partner at Clydesdale Bank’s Paisley Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), said:

“MCS has an enviable reputation developed across 30 years in the marine industry which can be attributed to the management’s professional approach, the highly skilled crew the company employs and its ability to build long relationships with major clients and partners.

“The ambitious strategy which Dirk and his team have in place to develop their services to the wind farm industry is symptomatic of the farsighted approach which MCS adopts and Clydesdale Bank is delighted to support the company during their current expansion.”

MCS has delivered services on a number of high-profile international projects including the World Island Project, a 300-strong collection of man-made islands shaped into the continents of the world, located off the coast of Dubai and the construction of a new deep water container terminal in India.

Clydesdale Bank launched its new business support initiative – Investing for Growth – to help successful businesses grow and develop. The support package offers both new and existing business customers a dedicated planning service and a more flexible approach to lending.

Loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit facilities are just some of the flexible support options available under the Investing for Growth initiative which also includes a dedicated financial planning service.

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