Heerema Hartlepool praised as town-built platform launches into the North Sea

The Cygnus platform at its new home in the North Sea
The Cygnus platform at its new home in the North Sea

A HARTLEPOOL-BUILT platform has been installed at a gas field with experts praising the manufacturers for their work.

The 80ft platform was built at Heerema Hartlepool before being sailed out for installation at the Cygnus gas site in the southern North Sea.

The mid-North Sea operation to lift, install and pile the jacket and platform took eight days to complete.

The topside was sailed out from Hartlepool, while the jacket came down to the Southern North Sea from Fife in Scotland.

Expert installers completed the whole operation in a sea depth of around 80 ft, but that is just the first part of Hartlepool’s involvement in the Cygnus deal.

The rest of the package is so big, it will mean Heerema will have to have a peak workforce of 1,000 people later this year, including some which are sub-contracted.

Still to come as part of the deal are the 3,500 tonnes Bravo Wellhead topsides, the 4,400 tonnes Alpha Processing Utilities topsides, and the 2,300 tonnes Alpha Compression Unit. The yard is also constructing two bridges and a flare stack as part of the deal.

The Cygnus site is operated by business partners GDF SUEZ, Centrica and Bayerngas.

At its peak, the Cygnus field will produce enough gas to meet the needs of 1.5 million UK homes.

Greg McKenna, director of non-operated assets at Centrica Energy, said: “We are delighted to see the first Cygnus platform installed offshore after the infrastructure was completed safely and on time at yards in Hartlepool and across the UK.

“With the first phase of the project now complete, we look forward to marking further milestones on Cygnus and work is already underway at Hartlepool on the Bravo platform and the 4,000-tonne process and utilities topside.”

GDF SUEZ E&P UK, managing director Jean-Claude Perdigues, said: “Having sailed away from the Heerema Hartlepool yard on May 13, our strong relationship with Cygnus partners Centrica and Bayerngas and our contractors has ensured effective and timely project delivery.”

Mr Perdigues added: “Cygnus is the largest gas discovery in the Southern North Sea in the last 25 years and we are on track to achieve first gas next year.

“By 2016, the field will be the second largest individual gas producer in the UK.”