Firm cleans up in Africa

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contaminated water in African oilfields is being cleaned by a Barnsley firm thanks to the power of a humble plant.

Technical consultancy Oceans ESU, of Wilthorpe, has engineered systems in Sudan which use reed beds as an environmentally-friendly way to remove chemicals from oily water left after oil has been extracted.

Business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley is helping Oceans ESU as it expands.

Profits are expected to increase this financial year by 73 per cent.

Professor Lucian Gill, managing director, said: “The scale of what we do and our emphasis on dealing with chemicals and reusable applications is unique in the world.

“We engineer reed beds to get the best possible treatment capability in the smallest area. The reeds regenerate every spring, so it’s low maintenance, the process doesn’t use any energy and the clean water itself can be reused.

Work at Heglig oilfield, close to the border with South Sudan, also sees clean water used for irrigation of new forests.