North Sea-inspired fire safety technology tackles Australian environmental issues

Source: press release, 19 January 2021

RigDeluge founder, Ian Garden
RigDeluge founder, Ian Garden (photo: RigDeluge)

RigDeluge®, the Aberdeen-headquartered fire protection equipment specialist, has announced an exclusive distribution agreement for its award-winning Free Flow™ technologies in what it believes is a transformative shift in global fire and environmental safety.

The agreement, for an undisclosed sum, was brokered by Hong Kong-based Silver Horse Holdings, which specialises in identifying and maximising the benefits innovative technology can bring to major industry issues. The deal will see fire safety experts, Australian Fire Industries (AFI), gain exclusive distribution rights across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste for RigDeluge’s proprietary heat and dust suppression technology.

Originally created as an answer to North Sea fire safety issues, the Free Flow technologies have already seen sales in the 10,000s across the global onshore and offshore energy sector, direct from Aberdeen. Now, its heat suppression capabilities have been identified as a game-changer in the fight to improve Australia’s environmental issues associated with dust emissions in the mining sector and in the battle against bush fires – both of which have resulted in hazardous levels of air quality being recorded across Australia.

RigDeluge founder, Ian Garden comments, “This latest distribution deal illustrates the global cross-sector possibilities of Free Flow’s unique heat suppression capabilities, which are set to lead a shift in how countries deal with fire, heat and dust suppression, in terms of performance and application.”

Moving from more conventional distribution and licensing deals with global enterprises, the agreement with AFI is the first in a series of exclusive local agreements, which aim to boost not only the UK manufacturing and export markets, but also the fortunes of RigDeluge’s localised overseas distributors and the economies in which they operate. The company is currently in negotiation to roll the model out across the many countries in which its technology is patented.

Garden continues, “With over 10,000-unit sales made in 2020 alone, during a global lockdown and with a challenging oil price, an Aberdeen-based entity is creating a major global footprint in fire safety technology. That is a powerful message for a UK manufacturing and engineering industry, which I believe has the potential to supersede the challenges created by Brexit and once again set a global benchmark for quality and cost efficiency through innovation.”

As adoption by the international oil and gas market of RigDeluge technology goes from strength to strength, domestic sales continue to lag, which its inventor finds concerning: “With a significant proportion of the UK’s offshore industry reliant upon ageing assets with proven unreliable fire products and safety systems in place, the threat of a major safety incident, from which I believe the industry could not recover, is constant. New waterless methods to test offshore fire safety systems are highly fallible, as systems recorded as compliant are likely to fail when water is introduced, and deluge nozzles continue to fail to perform.”

“A major incident in the North Sea would not only affect the oil and gas sector but would also have a huge impact on our fishing and tourism industries. As such, the UK is very much in a position of offshore fire safety ‘catch up’ and I would challenge UK government and relevant industry bodies to address this for the sake of both our health and safety record and the economies which rely upon the North Sea,” concludes Garden.