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Cornwall's biggest geotechnical export

When Seacore was formed in 1976, marine mineral exploitation appeared to be an ideal choice for a Cornish company as there were available locally both highly skilled mining engineers and a large pool of mariners from the fishing industry.

Historically, people relied upon placing traditional land equipment onto simple pontoons. Often such combinations were operated by companies with little or no marine experience, resulting in a generally inefficient, and of more concern, dangerous service.

Seacore decided to design and manufacture specialist marine drilling systems generally relying upon the safe stable operating deck of a jack- up platform.

Mineral exploration work, mostly for subsea coal, proved limited. But it became apparent that Seacore's skills could be commercially applied within the marine geotechnical industry, both nearshore and offshore, and especially within the oil industry.

Following this new direction, in the 1980s Seacore grew to become one of the largest specialist marine geotechnical drilling contractors in Europe, operating a fleet of seven jack-up platforms and various offshore drillships.

More recently the company has diversified into other core business-related industries, but the controlling criteria remaining marine and drilling. For example it recently developed a process of drilling up to 5m diameter sockets in all types of seabed including sediments, granite, sand and basalt. These sockets have been used for applications from offshore windfarm, lighthouse and harbour foundations to sewerage outfall diffusers and marine diamond exploration sampling.

Seacore is working on five nearshore site investigations at Stornaway, Shetlands, Denmark, Sweden and the Firth of Forth. Offshore it is drilling cores for the British Geological Survey in up to 1,800m of water. There are also civil engineering projects off Northern Ireland laying outfalls; in the Thames installing docking piles, off Yarmouth drilling an 8m diameter caisson, and offshore in India drilling 3m diameter sockets in basalt for jetty pile installations.

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