Borehole drilling in Africa

Since being founded in 1912, our work has taken us to exciting locations near and far. In 1975, George Stow Nigeria Ltd was set up, and we were commissioned to start a phase of work drilling for groundwater in the world’s second largest continent.

G Stow had a big presence in Nigeria, with offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Ilorin, Kaduna, Sokoto and a head office in Kano. There were various numbers of employees based at each site and they worked on a six-month contract, rotating between six months on site and one month at home in the UK before returning to Nigeria. They were paid in the local currency, Naira.

Drilling work was carried out in Sokoto, Ilorin, Enugu and Port Harcourt, with 3-4 drilling crews on site and equipment shipped over such as rotary and percussion drilling rigs, Land Rovers, compressors, generators, and steel tubing for lining boreholes. Over the years that G Stow were based in Nigeria, it’s estimated they drilled approximately 1,000 boreholes, providing the Nigerian country with thousands of cubic litres of groundwater.

Mike Baker, Sales Engineer, joined G Stow in 1974. He swapped UK life for the experience of working in Nigeria from 1975 until the early eighties. Mike was based in the Lagos office where he was responsible for the shipping. Equipment would be procured and shipped to Nigeria from the UK and Mike would meet the vessel, get the equipment offloaded and transported to various G Stow sites.

Mike commented: “Working in Nigeria was an amazing experience, however, there seemed to be little law and order and I was attacked on several occasions during my time there. There were a lot of good, religious people but others were violent and extreme. It was a completely different world. It is fascinating to compare the attitudes and methods on site in those days, compared with the present day.”

G Stow spent approximately ten years drilling for groundwater in Nigeria before George Stow Nigeria Ltd closed due to a decrease in work. During this time, the industry was male dominated and it seems that, fifty years later, that’s about to change…

Click here to view the article ‘Nigeria: Meet the one of the country’s first female borehole engineers’ on the BBC News website.

G Stow secures Boreholes for Ground Source Heat Pumps framework with Centrica

Company wins 3-year framework to deliver boreholes to drive Ground source heat pumps

Centrica Business Solutions has selected G Stow, a UK leading borehole engineering and drilling specialist, to deliver boreholes for ground source heating following a recent competitive tender process.

The team at G Stow will help Centrica in its objective to deliver a more cost and carbon efficient solution to its commercial, industrial and public sector clients; drilling both open and closed loop borehole systems to drive ground source heat pumps that are growing in popularity as a replacement or complement to combined heat and power plant.

Simon Dray, managing director water, waste and infrastructure at South Staffordshire Plc commented: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Centrica as a partner to support their delivery of environmentally friendly integrated energy solutions. With over a century of experience in water engineering, we’re looking forward to supporting Centrica with our borehole expertise and experience, and we can’t wait to get started.”

Luke Bannar-Martin, head of net zero pathways at Centrica Business Solutions added: “Having G Stow on board as a partner enables us to utilise their borehole drilling and maintenance expertise to help drive forward the provision of ground source heating options for our clients, supporting them to live more sustainably, simply, and affordably, in an increasingly low carbon world.”