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OEG strengthens its global energy march by snapping up offshore communications specialist Fern Communications

Global offshore equipment leader OEG Offshore (OEG) today added further strength to its portfolio of products and services by acquiring offshore communications specialist Fern Communications (Fern).
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Left to right, John Heiton, CEO, OEG Offshore with Jennifer Cushion, managing director, and Clive Cushion, technical director, Fern Communications. Picture: TMS Media

Lowestoft‐based Fern, with almost 20 years’ experience in designing and manufacturing robust offshore communications systems, fits OEG’s vision of a greater global reach across the energy sector through expanding its range of customer-focused innovative product and service offerings.

The deal comes a week after Fern signed a four‐year contract with Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) to support and maintain its communications system and installed Wavecom®, the offshore digital radio communications system package for its operations and maintenance.

Wavecom® provides full field coverage of more than 9000km² to crew transfer vessels and construction vessels.

Fern serves to further expand the range of niche critical services and solutions that the OEG group offers to facilitate sustainable global projects. OEG’s model provides a platform for small and medium-sized companies to maximise their potential, delivering critical services using key enable assets and technologies, to a wider range of larger projects, while widening and strengthening Aberdeen‐based OEG’s presence across the energy sector.

Offshore welfare specialists Pegasus Welfare Solutions joined the group in April, and further acquisitions are planned later this year.

OEG Offshore head of renewables Dan Greeves said: “Fern is a renowned and respected name across the energy industry for its innovation and delivering the most reliable tailored communications systems for client needs in the most difficult environments.

“Fern’s ambition and vision fit exactly with ours. Being part of our business will open new doors for them on exciting big projects within the support of our framework and processes while giving us the capability to tender for work packages with other specialist businesses in our group that work together."

Fern Communications was founded by Clive and Jennifer Cushion, nearly 20 years ago. Together they have designed and manufactured compact and innovative portable repeaters for reliable communications for the construction, installation, operations, and maintenance of offshore wind farms including RWE’s Galloper, ScottishPower Renewables East Anglia ONE and Ocean Wind’s Moray East.

Clive Cushion said: “This is exactly the partnership we need to grow. What we do best is be innovative. We are engineers and all about customers giving customers solutions they need.

“R&D and emerging technology have always been at the heart of what Fern does and we have been very successful and achieved so much in the last nearly 20 years. We have built up a very good reputation for what we do and by joining OEG it will only strengthen it.

“The energy sector has been our backbone for many years, and it is continuing to grow. This opens different avenues for us to pursue with scope for large growth of our turnover and activity.”

The deal will allow Fern to focus on innovation for communication systems for wind farms located further offshore within the infrastructure of a larger business.

Fern, which employs 10 people with plans to expand, will maintain its brand within the OEG group and will continue to support oil and gas “which can’t be ignored in the energy transition and is a market that still needs servicing,” Clive said.

Fern’s expertise in electronic design, engineering, and industrial design, has served clients across the offshore wind and oil & gas sectors.

OEG has more than 60 bases spanning six continents and has supplied the offshore market with specialist offshore equipment and services for more than 45 years, on a fully managed, rental or sales basis.