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Captain Kirk space firm among latest clients of Peterhead engineering group JBS

Going global: l-r JBS Group managing director Mike McCafferty, sales and marketing manager Jo McIntosh and operations director Alex Whyte, with the firm's Sea Axe technology.
Going global: l-r JBS Group managing director Mike McCafferty, sales and marketing manager Jo McIntosh and operations director Alex Whyte, with the firm's Sea Axe technology.

North-east engineering firm JBS Group counts the company that took Captain Kirk into space among the clients behind newly completed contracts worth a total of £2 million.

Peterhead-based JBS supplied technology to Blue Origin – the US aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight business started by Jeff Bezos, the multi-billionaire founder of Amazon.

Jeff Bezos.

Two of the JBS team – Dave Sinclair, who started his career as a greenkeeper at Cruden Bay Golf Club, and the firm’s own “Scottie”, Scott Donald – flew out to Blue Origin’s rocket engine facility in  Huntsville, Alabama, to complete the installation of a blast containment system.

The site in “rocket city” is used to manufacture engines for testing at Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Centre.

l-r Dave Sinclair and Scott Donald, of JBS Group, at Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville, Alabama.

Hollywood actor William Shatner became the oldest person to go into space after blasting off in a Blue Origin rocket last October.

The 90-year-old, who played Captain James T Kirk in the Star Trek films and TV series, took off from a desert in Texas and was in sub-orbit for about 10 minutes.

New astronaut William Shatner, second left, with Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice-president of mission and flight operations, and fellow crewmates Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.

JBS has previously supplied its blast containment “curtains” – which can absorb and withstand blasts of extreme force and have been installed on a number of North Sea platforms – to aerospace space firm SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk.

The Blue Toon company’s latest contract successes also include umbilical reel restoration work for an energy services firm at Rosyth.

The project involved a team of six that included fabricators, welders and supervisors.

Similar work was carried out at Rosyth for an unnamed global energy services business.

Companies are coming to us to solve a range of complex issues across several disciplines.”

Mike McCafferty, managing director, JBS Group.

Meanwhile, JBS supplied its patented retractable pressure test bay roof systems to a global subsea firm’s operations in Norway and Brazil.

JBS said its patented Sea Axe excavation equipment was used by Middle East-based Unique Group for the redevelopment and expansion of a power station in Indonesia.

And an international tender was won for the provision of machinery to an unnamed client in the same region.

All contracts were completed during the past two months.

JBS Group’s Sea Axe being used on a wind farm project.

JBS managing director Mike McCafferty said: “We’re winning more work due to our innovative approach to engineering solutions and an unrelenting commitment to customer service.

“Companies are coming to us to solve a range of complex issues across several disciplines.

“I’m particularly delighted for the recent uptake in our patented Sea Axe mass flow excavation technology. This is the most environmentally friendly system of its type in the marketplace.”

He added: “We’ve made great strides despite the challenges of the past year or so. It’s been a great team effort by everyone at JBS.”

JBS was founded as a boat-builder, J Buchan & Sons, nearly 50 years ago.

During the past four years, it has invested about £4m in its Peterhead site, training the next generation of engineers and developing new technology.

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