Scotland business

Aker Solutions to create 500 new Scottish jobs

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Media captionAker Solutions already employs more than 2,500 people in Scotland

Oil and gas firm Aker Solutions has announced plans to create 500 new jobs in the north east of Scotland over the next two years.

The Norway-listed company already has 2,700 people working in Scotland on subsea and drilling technology bases in Dyce and Portlethen.

Aker specialises in extending the life-span of offshore platforms.

The jobs are on top of 350 new Scottish posts created by Aker following an announcement last year.

The move is part of an ambitious expansion plan by Aker, which has set a group growth target of between 9% and 15% a year from 2011 to 2015.

The latest jobs announcement was welcomed by First Minister Alex Salmond during an official visit to Norway.

Mr Salmond said he was "greatly encouraged" by Aker's continuing commitment to Aberdeen.

'Flagship company'

He said: "Aker Solutions is one of Norway's flagship companies, with extensive global operations and already a huge presence in Scotland.

"I am delighted that they now plan further investment and job creation in the city, delivering a great boost for the north east and wider Scottish economy.

"Our oil and gas sector remains a vitally important part of the economy, generating jobs and prosperity, and the Scottish government, Scottish Development International and our enterprise agencies are determined to support the ambitions of overseas investors and Scottish companies."

Aker Solutions President Leif Borge said the company had "a proud heritage" in Aberdeen.

He added: "We are experiencing activity growth in both the UK North Sea and international markets.

"Our objective is to provide an even better level of support to our customers, which will enable us to win more work and capitalise on the expected market growth. Hence we are investing in our operation in Scotland."

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