Aberdeen engineer calls in administrators amid oil slump

Almost 60 staff at an Aberdeen-based engineering firm have lost their jobs after administrators were called in.
Aberdeen-based EESL has been hit by the oil downturn. Picture: Craig StephenAberdeen-based EESL has been hit by the oil downturn. Picture: Craig Stephen
Aberdeen-based EESL has been hit by the oil downturn. Picture: Craig Stephen

Blair Nimmo, Tony Friar and Geoff Jacobs of KPMG have been appointed joint administrators of Craigshaw, the holding company for Enterprise Engineering Services (EESL), which employed 115 people.

EESL has been trading for 50 years and worked with a large number of oil and gas and utility clients, but has suffered a “significant” fall in orders amid the sustained drop in crude oil prices.

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Turnover at the business fell to £17 million last year, from £23m in 2014, with the resulting losses prompting its directors to call in administrators.

EESL had employed 108 people at its Aberdeen site, with a further seven at a facility in Caithness that it acquired in 2013 after purchasing Mowat Technical & Design Services.

However, 54 staff in Aberdeen and four in Caithness have now been made redundant. A further 49 employees have been sent home “pending clarification of ongoing customer requirements”, while the remaining eight have been retained to assist the administrators.

Nimmo, KPMG’s UK head of restructuring, said: “EESL has a long history of servicing the energy industry across the UK but, like many businesses in the sector, it has been negatively impacted by the low oil price and the consequent reduction in upstream activity.

“However, the company has a strong reputation in its markets, together with an asset base which will be of interest to other operators, principally comprising its forward order book, two property facilities, and a variety of machinery in addition to intellectual property.”

He added: “We are currently working with retained staff to realise all assets, and will provide all employees affected by redundancies with appropriate guidance and support. We will do everything we can to seek a buyer who may be able to protect the company and would encourage any party who has an interest in acquiring the company’s business and its assets to contact us as soon as possible.”