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 PLC has successfully passed the Achilles UVDB verify (Category B2) audit.

G Stow PLC has successfully passed the Achilles UVDB verify (Category B2) audit, with a 100% pass rate across all subject areas. 

During a two-day audit, G Stow PLC were assessed on internal management systems, processes and operational procedures.  The company’s on-site production of a new abstraction borehole was also audited. 

The the company successfully achieved 100% in areas that include Health and Safety, Environment, Quality and Corporate Social Responsibility. 

This is a great achievement, highlighting commitment to maintaining comprehensive management systems and processes, and the effective management of health, safety and environmental systems. 

The audit provides pre-qualification assurance for utilities and commercial customers,  enabling G Stow PLC to access suitably pre-qualified suppliers they can confidently invite to tender for their requirements. Successfully passing and achieving a 100% score will allow G Stow PLC to continue to provide essential operational support to the water utilities industry. 

What is Achilles UVDB Verify Audit? 

Achilles UVDB (Utility Vendor Database) is a pre-qualification scheme that is designed to ensure accountability and ethical considerations throughout the utility sector within the UK. 

Achilles UVDB Verify is an independent audit of an organisation’s Safety, Health, Environment, Quality (SHEQ) management systems and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). 

South Staffordshire Plc appoints new Head of Ground Source Heat Pump Services as it expands its sustainable service offerings

The business welcomes Richard Canning as it continues to support essential services providers on their journey to net zero.

South Staffordshire Plc, the integrated services group that supports clients in essential services markets such as water, rail and gas, has welcomed Richard Canning to the business to lead the growth of its ground source heat pump solutions division. This news follows hot on the heels of the recent appointment of Iain Coleman to lead its EV charging infrastructure solutions division, as the business continues to grow its sustainable solutions arm to support its clients on their decarbonisation journeys.

Richard has worked in the heating industry for equipment manufacturers, heating system installers and as a building services design consultant, acquiring an in-depth knowledge of all things heating. In the last ten years, Richard has worked for heat pump manufacturers as well as renewables sales and installers.

South Staffordshire Plc is harnessing the significant expertise within its Group companies –to offer a unique end-to-end ground source heating solution for district heating, ambient loops and ultimately carbon reduction.

Simon Dray, managing director – water and heat energy services, at South Staffordshire plc said: “With the country’s efforts to reach net zero increasing, we are already seeing growth in heat pump deployment as a low carbon option of choice, and we only expect this to accelerate further in the coming months and years. We’re pleased to be able to draw upon our expertise gained through working in highly regulated industries and our ability to deliver end to end engineering services for heating solutions using ground and water source heat pumps for commercial and industrial premises. Richard is a key appointment for us to support our future growth in this space, and we are delighted to welcome him to our business.”

Richard Canning, head of ground source heat pump services, South Staffordshire Plc added: “It’s a great time to join South Staffordshire Plc as the business expands its core skills and services into new emerging asset markets. Commercial and industrial clients are beginning to more seriously consider heat pumps as a route to carbon reduction and ultimately a carbon zero future. With the current environmental agenda, and following COP26, clients are looking for specialist advice, guidance, and project management to achieve their ambitions. I’m really looking forward to working with both existing and new clients to help them achieve their goals.”