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Baker Hughes: Angus employer ‘committed’ to Montrose despite job cuts

Baker Hughes at Charleton Road, Montrose
Baker Hughes at Charleton Road, Montrose

A boss at major Angus employer Baker Hughes says the firm is committed to Montrose.

That is despite job cuts in the summer, with between 80 and 90 staff believed to have been let go.

Romain Chambault, European region lead for Baker Hughes, said the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted Baker Hughes’ operation in Montrose.

He said: “We had to take a good, hard look at the way we were working and adjust accordingly.”

But Mr Chambault said the company remains confident in the long-term prospects of subsea energy production.

Baker Hughes develops and deploys advanced technologies to serve energy and industrial companies around the world.

The Texas-headquartered group currently employs more than 500 people at its subsea centre of excellence in Montrose.

It operates two sites in Montrose – at Charleton Road and Forties Industrial Estate on Brent Avenue.

Jobs are at risk at
Baker Hughes at Charleton Road, Montrose.

They are involved in engineering, manufacturing, test and assembly and services, as well as research and development.

Mr Chambault said the business plans to retain its Montrose base.

He added: “We see the subsea market slowly returning in 2022 and 2023 which may help future work volume to the Montrose subsea centre of excellence, our flagship facility.

“We intend to stay here.”

Major investment in Montrose base

The operation in the town underwent a transformation in 2019 through a £31 million investment by Baker Hughes.

There was also a £4.9m grant from the Scottish Government through Scottish Enterprise.

The subsea centre of excellence benefits from advanced manufacturing tools and processes designed to improve efficiency and productivity.

European region lead for Baker Hughes Romain Chambault said: “Montrose is important to us for multiple reasons. The energy industry is one of Scotland’s leading sectors, so it’s crucial for us to have a footprint here.

“The industry is changing before our eyes.

“Facilities like Montrose allow us to continue to invent and produce necessary technologies and solutions for customers.

“The pressing need to tackle climate change presents challenges, but also significant opportunities for the oil and gas sector.”

Many companies in the oil and sector have had to tighten their belts in recent years due to adverse factors including a slump in the price of crude and the spread of Covid-19, and Baker Hughes is no exception.

North Sea deal will have a positive impact

Mr Chambault said the North Sea Transition Deal was exciting news for Baker Hughes’ UK operations.

The partnership between the UK oil and gas sector and the Government supports the industry’s move to clean, green energy.

It also means a secure future for high-skilled oil and gas workers.

Subsea equipment designed and manufactured at Baker Hughes Montrose.
Subsea equipment designed and manufactured at Baker Hughes Montrose.

Mr Chambault said: “The North Sea Transition Deal will have a positive impact for suppliers.

“It is pushing activity in the energy transition, which we’re fully aligned with.

“The deal also confirms Government support for the sector, including the supply chain.

“The deal includes a target for UK content in new energy projects, including a target for locally-sourced technology and  support for upskilling staff.

“This is exciting news for our UK operations.

“It supports sustained employment, manufacturing growth and generates real energy-transition expertise.”

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