Chelsea Technologies Group helps US oil spill clear up
13 July 2010, News release from Chelsea Technologies Group Ltd
INNOVATIVE equipment developed in West Molesey is playing a part in helping to clear up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Chelsea Technologies Group was asked by BP to provide sensors to monitor the amount of oil in the water, following the disaster in April which is continuing to blight the American coastline.
The firm, which employs 38 people, has already produced anti-warfare equipment for submarines and has been tasked by the UK and United States governments to help tackle terrorism.
Managing director Brian Phillips said: "We were contacted directly by BP and some of the companies working for them. They are very concerned that when most of the oil is removed from the surface there will still be some in the water and on the beaches. They want to know that all the oil is gone and this technology can detect down to very low levels."
The instruments, known as hydrocarbon fluorimeters, work by shining light at a material and taking a reading by the amount that bounces back. They are likely to be used for some time as monitoring for oil companies becomes a legal requirement, and staff from the firm are set to fly out to Texas in the next four to six weeks to help.
Dr Phillips estimated it would be more than 12 months before levels are brought down but is confident the area will eventually return to normal. The technology took four years to develop, and similar sensors have been fitted to each Royal Navy submarine as an 'anti-warfare' measure. "It's keeping us safe," Dr Phillips said.
The other major project on the go is aimed at guarding the water supply from attack. Dr Phillips explained: "We are very involved in homeland security and we have a big project funded by the UK and US governments. It's a detection method to ensure that our drinking water is safe. The technology can be put in the water source and used to detect if there are any foreign agents in the water. We are fighting terrorism."
While the Molesey Industrial Estate may not seem the most likely location for a hi-tech company involved in curing the world's ills, Dr Phillips said it was a convenient location for members of staff and was not too far from the capital.
"There's a lot of pride in the company that we are doing the kind of work that we are doing," he added. "The oil spill will definitely be cleared up and hopefully we will continue to play our part."
For further information please email Chelsea Technologies Group Ltd