Scottish inventor backed by “biggest” energy sector to develop his idea

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A SCOTTISH plumber turned inventor and entrepreneur has secured the backing of the world’s biggest energy sector companies to develop his unique pipe repair solutions.

Kibosh Ltd, which has patented a range of clamps that can mend damaged pipes within seconds, has secured funding from OGTC, the Aberdeen-based technology centre.

This support, alongside that of its existing investors, will fund pre-field trial testing and certification by BSI, the leading global product standards assessor, and qualification of its industrial product range by Lloyds Register. 

Kibosh Ltd - Business News Scotland
Photo by Kibosh. Having spent several years developing and patenting his unique solution, Kibosh’s clamps have gained an international customer base.

Ross Dickinson, a self-employed plumber based in the Scottish Borders, created Kibosh’s signature pipe repair technology 14 years ago to provide a quick and effective fix for damaged or leaking domestic water pipes.

Dickinson, who left school aged 16 with no qualifications, was diagnosed with dyslexia years later and prescribed coloured glasses that helped him to read.

He soon gained his plumbing qualifications at Borders College and won a SNIPEF apprentice of the year award, before starting his own plumbing business in 2007.      

In February this year, when freezing conditions in Texas saw houses across the US state suffer burst pipes, Kibosh supplied several thousand clamps to assist the recovery effort, including sales via major American DIY retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Kibosh has sold more than 100,000 domestic clamps so far, retailing on average between £12 and £20 each, with a growing trade customer base and an estimated market potential of £200m in the retail sector alone.  

Kibosh Ltd - Business News Scotland
Photo by Kibosh. There are significant ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) benefits to the Kibosh technology.

The firm’s range of high efficiency rapid freezing clamps uses up to 50% less gas than other solutions to form and maintain an isolating ice plug within pipes, which speeds up maintenance and negates the need to drain entire systems. 

These qualities have led to growing interest in Kibosh from the oil and gas, energy, and industrial sectors, with globally renowned partners including Total, Harbour Energy, CNOOC International, and Hydratight. 

To meet that demand, Dickinson has created a range of industrial clamps which are now entering the final phase of research and development, with field trials due to take place in the North Sea over the next 18 months.

Kibosh Ltd - Business News Scotland
Photo by Kibosh. This project will also be supported by University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

Ross Dickinson, founder and chief technology officer of Kibosh, said: “It’s been excruciatingly difficult to get to this point, but it’s great now to be working with some of the biggest names in the energy sector to develop Kibosh products for a range of industrial settings.

“I knew pretty early in the process that if we could make the clamps effective for domestic use, we had a really good chance of applying the same basic solution in large-scale engineering and manufacturing environments.

“I’m confident that in working with OGTC and the University of Strathclyde over the next year or so we will be able to develop a range of Kibosh products that will save vast amounts of time, money, and crucially water and other precious fluids for companies in many different sectors over years to come.

“We believe our solutions have the potential to make a positive contribution to the net-zero journey and because these clamps have such huge potential for cross-sector compatibility in oil and gas and other industries we believe the market potential is in the billions of pounds range and, most importantly, can help save the planet and industry a similar amount too.

“I’m passionate about this and about doing it here in Scotland, using as many local partners as possible along the way.”