Simply the best of British

The Heerema Rig making its way away from Hartlepool
The Heerema Rig making its way away from Hartlepool

A HARTLEPOOL business has been praised as “an excellent example of British engineering” after completing the first phase of a giant order.

A giant 80ft platform sailed out of the Heerema Hartlepool yard this week, on its way to the Cygnus gas site in the southern North Sea.

The 1,700 tonne topsides was the first part of an order which will also see Heerema construct a 3,500 tonnes Brave Wellhead topsides, 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.

Town MP Iain Wright, also the Shadow Minister for Industry, said: “The Cygnus project is an excellent example of British engineering and highlights this region’s position as a global leader in this sector.

“I am delighted to see the first platform sailing out from a Hartlepool yard. The hundreds of jobs and investment created by this project, not just now but for years to come, are a real boost for Hartlepool and the surrounding area.”

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

GDF SUEZ managing director Jean-Claude Perdigues said: “The sailaway is the exciting result of a successful partnership that has delivered the Cygnus Alpha wellhead platform to a tight schedule.”

He added: “Our relationship with Heerema has been a valuable part of the project. Ensuring construction runs to schedule means we remain on track to accomplish first gas next year. It is fantastic to see the physical manifestations of the project begin their transit to the field.”

Greg McKenna, the director of non-operated assets at Centrica Energy, said: “Cygnus Alpha platform is the third consecutive platform we’ve built here in Hartlepool. This significant investment by Centrica and its partners has helped to secure hundreds of jobs in the local area and gas supply for the UK.

“This project is another great example of what we can achieve through UK investment, by developing the skills and infrastructure needed to ensure we get the most out of our resources in the North Sea.”

Bayerngas UK’s managing Director, Gerry Harrison, said “Heerema have done a great job; safely meeting a tight schedule. This sail-away milestone is an excellent demonstration of how strong partnerships can delivery projects on schedule.”

Koos-Jan van Brouwershaven, chief executive officer of Heerema Fabrication Group, said: “The sailaway of the first completed topside for the Cygnus project demonstrates that we are committed to our promises for a high quality product and a safe delivery according to schedule. The skilled and talented workforce at the Hartlepool yard and the pleasant relationship with our client GDF SUEZ were key to a successful and timely delivery of the Alpha wellhead topside.”