Offshore Energies Magazine - Issue 55 Spring 2023

Quanta: EPC and the UK energy transition

Following a cash injection by investor Foresight and an enhanced management structure, Quanta is expanding its portfolio to tackle change.

P rivate equity firm Foresight invested in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Quanta in August 2022, since when it has announced a new chairman, Ian Clifford; and a new finance director, Catherine Earl. Mr Clifford had been part of the team that executed the management buyout of infrastructure operator PX Group and he went on to be the Group CEO. Ms Earl had worked in senior financial roles in the oil and gas sector and has extensive experience with the private equity sector after a career as an accountant in PWC. The investment and structure pave the way for an expansion both of Quanta’s existing oil and gas business – "which is keeping us very busy" – and into the energy transition and the related renewable energy projects, commercial director Steven Brett told OEUK. "Foresight could see the value in what we were doing as a Tier 2 EPC company and it could also see how the industry was preparing for the next ten to 15 years. Quanta was an early adopter of the OEUK Roadmap "If we visited schools and explained the importance of oil and gas, it would raise awareness of the importance of hydrocarbons in our everyday lives."

2035 initiative, which sketched out the decarbonisation of the UKCS some years before the North Sea Transition Deal [which had similar objectives] was agreed. We are doing what we can to contribute, we are improving what we do, and we are reducing our own, and our clients’ carbon footprint. Gas is likely to become a bigger relative to oil, both because of its smaller carbon footprint and because it is an enabler of the transition," he said. "Foresight wanted an active partnership role and we saw a good fit with it. They want to make sure we can deliver. Having Ian's experience in the Chair role will bring a lot of value, both internally and externally. And Catherine has experience working with private equity companies and in the oil and gas sector. We have also strengthened our engineering team which brings strength and depth and supports ongoing projects and those in the pipeline," he said. Security of supply Mr Brett believes that with the end of the era of self-sufficiency, the UK must make the most of the considerable existing oil and gas reserves – possibly as much as 20bn barrels of oil equivalent – backed up by the kind of seasonal energy storage that can be provided by Centrica’s Rough gas storage facility; and by battery storage systems such as the Pillswood project. "It is good to see there is progress being made in relation to the UK’s access to storage, and Quanta continues to support these operations through a framework agreement with a major operator, which covers asset integrity and engineering," he says. Gas storage is an element of the British Energy Security Strategy (BESS) that came out under the Boris Johnson premiership in March last year. That was one of the many responses to the situation in Ukraine intended to boost energy security. However since the initial enthusiasm, money for further development of Rough has not been forthcoming. But the first phase at least is operational. "This is a positive in terms of government approach and Rough’s accelerated return to service was aided by the exemption from some customary regulatory

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