A steel tube umbilical manufacturing facility, believed to the world’s most advanced, has opened on Walker Riverside, Newcastle.
The facility, housed in one of the tallest single floor buildings in Europe, was launched by Technip Umbilicals this week and is set to reinforce the firm’s position as a key player within the subsea sector.
The box-shaped building houses a gigantic vertical helix assembly machine (VHAM) and extrusion line, enabling the production of extremely long-length umbilicals, of considerable diameter, while incorporating large numbers of components to meet the industry’s worldwide requirements for the foreseeable future.
Externally there are two large capacity carousels, while the sheathing line is the most modern in the industry.
Umbilicals are used for connecting platforms to subsea oil and gas reserves.
The plant, supported by £3.6m from Government’s Regional Growth Fund, will safeguard over 150 jobs.
Managing director of Technip Umbilicals, Jean-Louis Rostaing said: “We are currently a leading player in umbilical technology with a track record for large and complex dynamic systems, including the world’s largest and heaviest umbilical manufactured for BP Skarv at 325mm OD and over 200kg/m. The investment we have now made in advanced steel tube umbilicals is aimed at satisfying future market demand for deep water, long tieback and large complex umbilical systems.“This investment will contribute to consolidating our leading position in our sector by ensuring that we have the capacity and capability to meet our clients’ needs for both steel tube and thermoplastic umbilicals. The fact that the technology is housed in what is believed to be one of Europe’s tallest single floor buildings says everything about our ambition.
“With this fantastic new facility backed by a world class workforce, we can look forward to the future with great anticipation and confidence. There is already strong market demand with over a year’s worth of orders already booked into the new facility.”
Technip Umbilicals, which employs 600 people in Newcastle, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Technip, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry, reporting a 2013 turnover of over £9bn.