Jobs joy as Hartlepool offshore firm lands multi-million pound contract

Peter Stephenson pictured at the Able Uk site.
Peter Stephenson pictured at the Able Uk site.

UP to 200 new jobs are on the way to Hartlepool after an offshore firm landed a multi-million-pound contract.

Able UK has won work to dismantle four offshore structures from the Shell-operated Brent oil field in the North Sea.

It would see about 100 jobs created during the 18-month construction of a new quay at Able’s site, with the six-year recycling contract itself generating a further 100 new jobs.

The news has been welcomed by civic leaders in Hartlepool as well as the town’s MP Iain Wright.

The contract will see three platform topsides, as well as a 414ft-high steel platform jacket, transported from the Brent field more than 100 miles North East of Scotland to Able’s Seaton Port.

The timing of the arrival of the first topside is subject to further offshore preparation work and regulatory approvals.

The news has inspired town leaders’ hopes of an upturn in the town’s employment fortunes, especially for the young unemployed.

Able UK managing director Andrew Jacques said: “We are delighted to have been selected to undertake this significant platform decommissioning project.

“This six-year contract will see the deployment of the very latest techniques and technologies in the recycling of these materials.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners on this project, and we are justifiably proud to have been selected.

“Able Seaton Port is already a superb facility and it will see further investment from Able UK with the construction of what will be one of Europe’s heaviest load bearing quays along with associated infrastructure at the northern end of the dry dock to receive the structures.

“This will enable the topsides and jackets to be shipped to the new quay for dismantling.”

It is expected that more than 97 per cent of the structures will be reused or recycled.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright said: “I welcome any job opportunities coming into the town.

“I hope as many townspeople as possible will benefit from additional contracts won by a company in Hartlepool.”

Hartlepool Borough Council leader, Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, said: “We had already seen an upturn in the economy across Tees Valley so any contribution of additional jobs to address our unemployment, particularly for young people, in the town can only be a good thing.”

Derrick Rowbotham, 66, was responsible for recruiting around 1,500 at the site when it was run by predecessor Laing’s in 1972.

He said: “It’s almost a revival of 40 years ago when the yard was building the rigs.”

The platforms will be individually transported from the Brent field to the Tees on board the newly-constructed Allseas “Pieter Schelte” vessel, which has been specially designed for single lift installation and removal works.