€50m Nigeria deal for Tyneside cable maker Duco Ltd

A lucrative contract worth at least €50m has been secured by an oil and gas cable maker involved in a major project in Nigeria

Jean-Louis Rostaing, managing director of DUCO Ltd at its plant in Walker

A lucrative contract worth at least €50m has been secured by an oil and gas cable maker involved in a major project in Nigeria.

Duco Ltd, which designs and manufactures underwater cable systems at its factory on Walker Riverside, Newcastle, has netted an agreement with Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd for work on the offshore Egina field, situated around 200km from Port Harcourt, at water depths ranging from 1,150 to 1,750 metres.

The firm, which is owned by owned by French multinational Technip, will be involved with project management, engineering and the manufacturing of roughly 76km of steel tube umbilicals, used to control subsea structures from a platform or a vessel.

In this case, three different kinds will be used: production, water injection and subsea isolation valve (SSIV) umbilicals.

Around 80 per cent of the project management and 30 per cent of the engineering will be carried out in Nigeria, but the umbilicals will be manufactured entirely at the Newcastle site.

Although Technip has not disclosed exactly what the contract is worth, it classes it as ‘important’, meaning it falls between €50m and €100m.

Managing director of Duco Ltd Jean-Louis Rostaing said: “This award is a recognition of the quality and performance of the umbilicals provided by Technip, as well as our ability to continuously innovate to better answer our clients’ needs.

“We are proud to have been awarded this contract, notably thanks to our strong relationship with the client and our ability to contribute to Nigerian Content Development.”

Established in 1990, Duco’s Walker factory employs almost 600 people and the company is looking to recruit more.

It produces 300km of umbilicals annually and in 2011 was named Company of the Year by Subsea UK, the industry body for the British subsea industry.

Currently, Duco is developing a new steel tube facility on its site, which, once completed, will be the most state-of-the-art umbilical manufacturing factory in the world, cutting production time and allowing the business to expand its range of products.

The new contract is not the only one it has secured in Nigeria. Around five years, ago it supplied umbilicals for the Agbami oil field.

Technip Umbilical Systems projects and engineering vice-president Sarah Cridland said: “It's important to the Nigerian government that they develop local employment.

“We are committed to developing project management and engineering in Nigeria by using the talent we have here in Newcastle.”

The project is scheduled for delivery in 2016.

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