Article   |     |   08.08.2023

Vysus takes on new energy

Following its demerger from Lloyd's Register, Vysus has set its own course as an independent consultancy. Founding CEO David Clark sets out the growth opportunities in the transition and the role for oil and gas, in an interview with Offshore Energies UK (OEUK).

David Clark became Energy Director at Lloyd’s Register (LR) in January, 2019. The business had a turnover of £130mn and a global footprint but it had been struggling.

Mr Clark was brought in to lead a new strategy building and growing a much more focused organisation with an emphasis on the energy transition. Following a strategic portfolio review, LR divested its Energy division, agreeing a deal with private equity firm Inspirit Capital.

Vysus Group, under Mr Clark's leadership, was born November 1, 2020, retaining the entire portfolio of LR Energy’s capabilities. This enabled the business to react more in a more agile manner to the changing energy landscape and to meet the evolving requirements of its customers.

David clark 350x350

The focus from then on and throughout 2021 was very much on establishing the new identity and brand while completing the back-office set-up across its global footprint and finalising the separation from LR’s business systems – all while continuing to deliver business to its global customer base and continuing to drive forward with the business strategy and doing so almost entirely remotely.

A big part of that was agreeing the company’s core values – trust, partnership and passion – with its team, based in 25 different countries all over the world.

After a successful first 12 months, the business continued to evolve, with the divestment of non-core assets in 2022 to align with a longer-term strategy to extend the high-end technical advisory capabilities of its consulting business. Its support of the upstream sector continues, through its ModuSpec rig assurance business.

The company sees its cross-sector expertise and geographical footprint as vital in supporting its clients with energy transition challenges.

Historically, around 90% of Vysus’ revenues came from upstream oil and gas. The aim was to diversify with a regulatory and technical business that would earn only 30% from oil and gas, another 30% to be earned from purely renewable energy and 40% from integrated renewable energy and industrial process sectors.

The business is almost there, with 60% coming from sectors other than oil and gas in its consulting division. That said, the oil and gas sector remains extremely significant for Vysus as a business and while it continues to develop its sector mix, the company is committed to the oil and gas industry and its oil and gas clients.

Much of its expertise is deployable across multiple sectors and this is enhanced by the development of technology platforms – both internally within its risk management group and through external partners.

By way of example, Vysus has a collaboration agreement with software provider Kairos Technology to support the development of the digital hazard and operability study process, which enables valuable time and cost-savings for its clients.

Another partnership is with enterprise data sharing platform Siccar. In this case, the aim is developing an end-to-end 'environment, society and governance' assurance solution. The product, the Energy Transition Databox, enables companies to manage and share accurate and trusted emissions information across their stakeholders.

With companies facing increasingly complex emissions reporting requirements, accurately measuring emissions data is a major challenge. This is one of the developments Vysus has in play to support its clients’ decarbonisation ambitions.

"It is clear that in the UK, we are on a trajectory to miss the vast majority of decarbonisation targets. Significant challenges remain to ensure we have the skills and particularly the infrastructure development needed to deliver on these," he told OEUK.

"We are seeing governments becoming more focused with near-term targets as the 2030 milestones become ever nearer. However there is clearly still a huge amount of work to do to be able to create these new innovative solutions.

“The oil, gas and the wider energy sector needs to continue to be producing energy with the support of government, stakeholders and the wider public. This is no longer a ‘tomorrow problem’.

"It is important that we get the help needed to unlock the progress in both pilot and large-scale decarbonisation developments if we are to scale up the transition and implement initiatives to meet the changing energy requirements for domestic heating, transport and wider industry consumption.

“The UK and Aberdeen have been critical in the development of innovative technology and commercial solutions across the oil and gas sector in the past and extremely significant for Vysus as a business and while this needs to continue. But we must build and leverage the technology and innovations which are now being developed and deployed across international markets.

"We need to make sure we do not miss the significant opportunity which the wider UK plc can have to lead the way in the energy transition and the decarbonisation of our domestic, travel and industrial infrastructure.

"Action and pace are vital if we are to sustain and grow a vibrant and relevant supply chain capability to support not only the UK’s needs but critically the enormous global market in the years and decades ahead.

“We have seen growing negative public opinion against the oil and gas sector, and while there are clear challenges which the sector needs to recognise and address, there is a realisation that the sector, and our extensive UK supply chain capability, will be a critical player in building the decarbonised energy infrastructure of the future.

"To date, much of the debate has been focused on the supply side of the of energy production and the closing down of hydrocarbon production. The reality is of course, that we must, in parallel, radically reconfigure the demand side which will mean huge changes for all of us in how we heat our homes, move around and manufacture the food and goods we consume.

"To achieve meaningful progress against these targets in a managed and stable way, we will all need to contribute with our skills, experience, ingenuity, expertise, and hard work,” he concluded.

*Thank you to William Powell from OEUK. You can read the original article in Offshore Energies Magazine – Issue 56 Summer 2023.

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