Platforms order secures Heerema jobs

A MAJOR order has been clinched by a Hartlepool yard - bringing jobs stability for years to come.

Heerema Hartlepool has won a money-spinning deal to build four platforms as part of the Cygnus gas field project in the southern part of the North Sea.

The Cygnus field is so vast, it will eventually create 4,000 jobs during its construction phase.

But this is the first stage of development and it has seen £337m awarded to firms in the UK - including Heerema.

Although no precise details of the size of the Heerema contract have been detailed, Heerema will make four structures known as topsides.

The deal is expected to be big enough to provide a stable future for the existing workforce at the Hartlepool yard until 2015.

Heerema Fabrication Group chief commercial officer Tino Vinkesteijn said: “This assignment will possibly be our single most important award for Heerema Hartlepool, especially in the context of the current economic turmoil.

“It will generate approximately three years of work at our Hartlepool facility, creating in excess of 1 million man hours and additional supply-chain jobs being created for other companies in the North East region and further afield.

“Having been able to secure this work for our Hartlepool facility is a tremendous boost for the stability of quality jobs in the North-East.”

The huge deal means around 10,500 tons of fabrication work done at Hartlepool.

That is made up of a 3,900 tons module for “utilities”, two bridges weighing 200 tons and 250 tons and a 250 ton flare, a 1,600 ton wellhead module and a 1,500 ton compression module.

Fabrication of the wellhead topsides is due to start in December for completion in March 2014.

Other modules follow after that and the final work should be completed in 2015.

Remco van Gilst, vice president business development & sales of Heerema Fabrication Group, said the deal would mean “the continuation of employment of our people at Heerema Hartlepool”.

The Cygnus field is operated by business partners GDF SUEZ, Centrica and Bayerngas. They have announced sanctioning of the £1.4 billion Cygnus project to develop the sixth largest gas field in the UK Southern North Sea.

Heerema enjoys a flourishing link-up with Centrica which has so far seen the Hartlepool firm complete three contracts – bringing praise from Centrica chiefs.

They have hailed the Hartlepool company as a “good place to do work”.

In March last year, the town 460-strong workforce built a 200ft high, 2,750 tonne structure, for a gas field off the Yorkshire coast.