Who We are?

Founded as BSW Limited in 1983, the company created the world’s first subsea ball and taper lifting device which was subsequently patented. BSW then became incorporated in 1994 and then acquired by the First Tech Group in 2004. As part of the First Tech Group, BSW was rebranded as First Subsea in 2009.

Our Group Partners

As part of the First Tech Group of companies, First Subsea is able to draw on a wide range of offshore technologies and services including:

Services We Provide

Engineering Services


3rd Party Testing

Ball and Taper Technology

First Subsea Ballgrab® connectors are based on patented ball and taper technology. This unique technology makes it suitable for any application involving gripping, pulling and holding connections under load. The primary difference between ball and taper technology and other connection methods is the way in which it minimises gripping surface deformation.

Ball and taper connection technology, in its simplest form, is the action of balls held securely in tapers machined into the connector’s mandrel. The balls are free to move up and down the taper, however when the balls grip the item to be held, they hold it in direct proportion to the load applied.

1. As the connector is inserted into a close fitting tube, the balls are free to roll.

2. As the connector is inserted fully, the balls roll up the taper into a retract position.

3. Once load is applied, the balls roll down the taper and engage. The connector then cannot be released until the load is removed.


Utilising ball and taper technology, First Subsea’s Ballgrab® connectors can be used in a wide variety of scenarios. The key advantages ball and taper technology has over traditional connection methods are:

  • Simple mechanism
  • Speed, ease of use and versatility
  • Individual multi-point grip
  • All grip elements are in compression
  • Grip is directly proportional to load
  • Self-activating and self-aligning

Ballgrab® connectors have been tried, tested and proven in practice in a range of applications, such as mooring, lifting, pulling, tensioning, torqueing, recovery and decommissioning.



First Subsea works to the requirements of ISO 9001:2008, ISO TS 29001(Petroleum, Petrochemical and Natural Gas Industries – Sector specific technical specification) to ensure it consistently meets the highest quality standards across the industry as expected by our clients, and as such, our Quality Management System is currently certified to:


Also, in 2012, First Subsea achieved ABS 2009 approval for forgings over 500mm diameter used in subsea mooring; the first company worldwide to receive this approval.

Health, Safety and the Environment

First Subsea is committed to providing a safe working environment for our employees and visitors, and ensuring that our activities have minimal impact on the environment and our and our HSE Management System is currently certified to Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, requirements.

To deliver on our HSE commitments, we will:

  • Demonstrate HSE leadership in behaviours, activities and accountabilities
  • Provide adequate resources to maintain a safe place to work, safe systems of work, safe equipment and a safe working environment
  • Ensure that HSE hazards are identified and regular assessments of risks are undertaken
  • Consult and promote HSE awareness with our employees to encourage best practice
  • Ensure compliance with our statutory duties
  • Regularly review our health and safety policy and safety performance
  • Encourage all employees to support our environmental policy



Company Objectives and Policies

First Subsea company objectives:

  • Ensure that First Subsea is the preferred supplier for our clients by being the ‘bench mark’ company for our industry
  • Improve our profitability with ‘smart’ business practises
  • Grow our business and market penetration every year
  • Continuous improvement of our safe working culture and ethos
  • Employee development and job satisfaction
  • The company, and all its employees are charged with promoting these policy objectives





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