Tata Steel has won £10m of contracts with one of the world’s leading suppliers to the offshore industry.
The global steel producer’s mills at Hartlepool will supply undersea pipes to four North Sea projects on behalf of engineering, construction and subsea services firm Subsea 7.
Bosses are forecasting high growth in the coming years in the subsea, umbilicals, risers and flowlines markets that the two companies serve.
The announcement comes after Tata - which is Europe’s second largest producer of steel - announced a “marked improvement in profitability” in its annual results in May.
Group profits of £360m for 2013-14 ending March 31 were recorded, on the back of major losses the previous year.
Indian-based Tata’s European operations suffered a loss of EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) £16m - a significant improvement compared with previous year losses of £283m.
Tata employs around 550 at its Hartlepool facility. A further 900 people work at its other Teesside sites at Redcar and Skinningrove.
The four contracts, signed over the past year, will see the company supply more than 55km of pipe weighing more than 9,000 tonnes.
To mark the strengthening relations between the two companies, Tata Steel and Subsea 7 have also signed a global framework agreement.
This agreement cements and formalises the companies’ long-standing partnership, which first began 25 years ago.
Tata Steel is a leading supplier of products and services to the oil and gas industry.
Under the contracts, the company will supply around 28km of carrier pipe, more than 27km of sleeve pipe, girth welding and triple jointing and the application of Glass Flake Epoxy pipe coating.
The pipes will be manufactured at the company’s Hartlepool pipe mills in the UK, before being welded and coated at its offshore processing centre, also in Hartlepool.
Richard Broughton, Tata’s Commercial Manager Exploration and Production, Energy & Power, said: “Our work with Subsea 7 over the years has been extensive, particularly in the North Sea oil and gas industry, which has become an increasingly important market for us.
“The new framework agreement will extend the work our companies already do together on a global scale, demonstrating the value of Tata Steel in today’s oil and gas industry.
“We have the ability to provide the carrier and sleeve pipe and carry out the coating work in-house, demonstrating the customer-focused approach Tata Steel takes.
“Subsea 7 is an important supply chain partner and our relationship with the company continues to grow.”