Scotland business

Jobs lost as shipping firm Harkand collapses

Harkand in Aberdeen
Image caption Deloitte said nearly 100 jobs would be lost at Harkand's Aberdeen base

More than 170 jobs are to be lost in Aberdeen and London following the collapse of oil and gas shipping company Harkand Group.

Administrators at Deloitte said they had been called in after the company was hit by the prolonged fall in global oil prices.

The administration involves 10 companies within the Harkand Group.

Deloitte said 98 of the 171 posts to be shed are located at Harkand's base in Aberdeen.

Harkand provides inspection repair and maintenance (IRM) services for offshore operations worldwide.

The group, which is headquartered in London, currently employs about 400 staff and has an estimated turnover of £357m.

'Financial pressures'

In a statement, Deloitte said: "Unfortunately the group's European business (based in Hammersmith and Aberdeen) could not be saved, having ceased to trade prior to entering administration due to financial pressures.

"It will now be wound down by the joint administrators with the loss of 171 jobs. Thirty-nine staff will be retained for a short period to assist with the wind-down of the European business."

Image copyright Harkand
Image caption Harkand runs a fleet of subsea, multipurpose and dive support vessels

Deloitte said it still hoped a sale could be concluded for the group's US and Africa business, preserving about 140 jobs.

It added: "A number of other entities within the group, including Aberdeen-based Andrews Survey, which employees 46 staff, are not subject to insolvency proceedings, and continue to trade.

"Negotiations are ongoing with a number of parties to secure a sale of the Andrews Survey business."

'Still hopeful'

Ian Wormleighton, joint administrator for Deloitte, said: "The business has faced losses as a result of the prolonged depression in global oil prices.

"Despite the group's directors seeking to find a solution with its financial stakeholders, a restructuring could not be achieved.

"The directors' decision to appoint administrators came after they could not facilitate a sale of the business in its current state or obtain additional capital to continue to trade.

"Whilst it is disappointing that the majority of the European business is to be wound down, we are still hopeful to be able to save a significant number of jobs in the group's US and Africa business, and we're confident of securing a buyer for the Aberdeen-based Andrews Survey business."