A Walkerburn plumber’s ingenious invention could save oil and gas companies billions, thanks to an £800,000 investment.
Ross Dickinson got the idea for the Kibosh pipe repair clamp after one too many call-outs for leaks when access to the stopcock was difficult.
He said: “It was on a job in Melrose in 2009, where the stopcock was behind kitchen cupboards, when I thought why was there not a clamp that would fix the leak at source.
“The Kibosh was born.”
The pipe repair clamp allows plumbers and DIY enthusiasts to mend the leaking pipes simply and quickly, and the pipe can continue to function at normal pressure and temperature.
“It has been a tough 10 years, bringing the Kibosh to market, and it’s almost broken me several times.”
Now, though, the kit, which is made in Selkirk by Cademuir Toolmakers, is widely available online and in plumbers’ merchants.
And now, after several calls from gas and oil companies asking if it could be reworked for industry applications.
Ross said: “Literally, these companies can lose billions of pounds a day if they have to stop the flow to fix a leak.
“So it makes sense that they are particularly excited about the concept as it would save huge costs on downtime and will limit or eliminate pollution through loss of containment.
“The money from Par Equity, an award-winning venture capital firm, which specialises in identifying and supporting rapid-growth businesses, will enable Kibosh to accelerate this.”
As a result of the funding, Kibosh has made two key appointments – John Breslin, an experienced interim CEO, joins as the new managing director and Keith Gibson, who has corporate finance experience and a private equity background, is now the company chairman, with Ross the technical director.
Aidan MacMillan, investment manager at Par Equity, said: “Investing in Kibosh at this stage in its development makes absolute sense for us.
“Their products are tried, tested and unique.
“Leaking pipes afflict more than just ordinary households. This is an issue for global industries, too.
“The need to get a fix in place as quickly as possible is vital in protecting assets, the environment and business reputations.”
Kibosh’s intellectual property is underpinned by registered trademarks and design protection, as well as internationally granted patents.
The firm, which has been generating revenue since 2012, first received funding support from Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise for business plans and marketing assistance, while the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) supported the up-scaled product development.