Order set to boost jobs

A JOB-creating deal for a Hartlepool construction yard was due to get under way within days – at a time when it is completing a series of other major orders.

Heerema Hartlepool is expected to see its workforce rise to more than 400 personnel once the new deal to build a platform for a gas field off the Yorkshire coast begins.

The work for the Heerema Hartlepool yard would “secure jobs until mid 2012”.

The York platform is an unmanned facility with a tie-back to Centrica’s Easington gas terminal via a 21.25 mile-long pipeline.

The York Field Development will exploit gas reservoirs in the Southern North Sea.

Heerema employs 1,000 people across its sites in Holland, Poland and England, which includes 237 people at the Hartlepool site and another 190 needed for the Centrica project.

Heerema is already working on another contract for a 1,100 tonnes Ensign platform at the Hartlepool yard. It consists of a topsides of 600 tonnes and a 500 tonnes jacket and is expected to be ready for installation in June.

Meanwhile, two other huge structures are ready to set sail after being built at Heerema.

The two substation structures will head out to the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm off the North Norfolk coastline.

Workers spent more than a year building the platform topsides for the wind farm on behalf of owners Statoil (formerly StatoilHydro) and Statkraft.

Once it is completed, the 315 megawatt Sheringham Shoal wind farm will provide enough energy to power 220,000 British homes, while it will see a reduction of around 500,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.

The wind farm is expected to be completed this year and its 88 turbines will be supported by foundations secured to the sea bed.

It will cover an area of around 14 square miles and is expected to start production either later this year or in 2012.