Demand for pirate protection boosts Crummock

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A CONSTRUCTION company is preparing to take on extra staff after a surge in demand for its equipment to protect the crews of oil rigs from invading pirates.

Bonnyrigg-based Crummock is working with oil drillers in West Africa to create safe rooms in which to keep workers safe from attacks.

The company is now working with Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise’s overseas agency, to expand into other markets, such as Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Alex Jeffrey, international director at Crummock, said: “We use Swedish steel and 
bullet-proof glass to make 
protective ‘citadels’, which can accommodate all 120 crew on an oil rig if it’s attacked. These rooms have electricity, water and toilet facilities.

“Everything has to be at least AK-47 proof.”

Crummock – which lists Esso Angola and ExxonMobil among its clients – turned over about £17.5 million last year, including about £1m from its protection business. The firm aims to double its security work to £2m this year.

The company – which also carries out civil engineering work for projects including Edinburgh’s trams – also refurbishes accommodation blocks on oil rigs.

Ian Scholes, head of Europe at Colpitts World Travel, which has worked with Crummock in overseas markets, said: “We’ve undoubtedly seen an increased threat from piracy and terrorism in recent years. The important consideration is taking pre-emptive measures to ensure an employee’s safety and minimise their risk of harm.”