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ASCO Looks Ahead to a Transformational Future

Published: 08 January 2024
Global , News

By Mike Pettigrew, Group CEO

ASCO, a leading global provider of logistics and materials management services, has set ambitious goals for its future with plans to increase business profitability by 50 percent over the next five years, with the majority of its returns coming from new energies by 2030.

That growth and the future direction of the company, says CEO Mike Pettigrew, will come from the establishment of new sites and facilities both across the UK and internationally as the Aberdeen-headquartered business increases its presence in the alternative energies arena while continuing to support the traditional oil and gas industry.

The futuristic plans follow on from what could be seen as a defining year for the company, with the biggest changes shaping its future direction coming in the form of its acquisition by private equity firm Endless LLP, a company focused on building enduring and sustainable businesses and the appointment of Mike Pettigrew as CEO.

“With our owners fully supportive of investing in us, supporting our ambition and our growth, this has opened the doors to new opportunities.” said Mr Pettigrew. “It has given us options to invest in and renew our capital fleet, invest in expansion into new ports and territories and to potentially look at expansion through acquisition if there’s something that’s synergistic and makes sense as part of our growth.”

The foundations for greater geographical growth are already being laid, with new facilities now open in Port of Sunderland and Lowestoft in the UK, its latest international locations successfully established in Senegal and Suriname, and discussions being held globally across four continents.

“Moving into 2024 under new ownership is like getting a fresh start. They didn’t buy us for what we’ve done; they bought us for what we can be and what they see in us. They support our ambition and our hunger to grow and engage with new markets.

“We’re entering a new phase for the company, and growth is going to be at the heart of what we do in both existing and new markets. To do that effectively, we need to optimise our operations, make sure we have invested in our technology, that we’re structured properly and that our people are focused on what’s important to the business. At the same time, we must ensure we don't lose sight of our commitment to our three fundamental obsessions of, safety, service and sustainability.”

Traditionally seen as an oil and gas logistics support provider, ASCO’s scope goes well beyond that through the provision of complete end to end services. ASCO handles the overall control of the full bill of materials to build and support complex offshore assets from the point of manufacture to arrival at the asset anywhere in the world.

“While we will continue to provide that complete level of service and support to our traditional markets, our future must lie in new energies. That’s not just in offshore wind but other energy projects such as CCUS, hydrogen and ammonia and future fuels like sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and e-methanol, which could potentially be used as a fuel for bunkering ships,” said Mr Pettigrew.

ASCO’s expansion will develop alongside its commitment to sustainability and the reduction of its carbon footprint. The company has a record it can justifiably be proud of, having already exceeded its 2024 milestones, set against a 2019 baseline. This has been achieved by ramping up activity in initiatives such as reducing waste to landfill, increasing recycling, sustainable packing to reduce plastic use, decreasing water production, sustainable procurement, procuring renewable energy and switching to low carbon transport.

“Sustainability is one of our core obsessions and will remain so, wherever our aspirations for growth take us,” said Mr Pettigrew. “We are committed to being net zero, not just carbon neutral. That means, for example, every time we set up a new facility, wherever that may be, we will always look at how to do that in the most sustainable way, adhering to our own best practice, reducing our own carbon footprint and leading by example.

“Some of the countries we are moving into have no legislation governing sustainability or commitment or adherence to CO2 reduction policies. That doesn’t mean we have to operate like that, and we won’t. Our target will always be net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are looking forward to transformational times ahead. We are reinvigorating our business in tune with the paradigm shift in energy. It’s a hugely exciting time to be involved in the energy sector, and ASCO will be a critical enabler in the transition.”

Find out more about our Vision, Mission and Fundamental Obsessions here.