Massive deal for Hartlepool steel plant - and there could be more

Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta talking to Liberty Steel Hartlepool MD Andrew Hill. Photo: Dave Charnley Photography.
Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta talking to Liberty Steel Hartlepool MD Andrew Hill. Photo: Dave Charnley Photography.

A massive deal to provide 13,000 tonnes of steel has been secured by a Hartlepool plant - and it means job security for 140 workers.

Delighted officials at the town’s Liberty Pipes site revealed the deal and said it will help reinstate the Hartlepool pipe mills’ as a global force in the oil and gas sector.

Large diameter pipes made in Hartlepool being put into position for a major energy industry project.

Large diameter pipes made in Hartlepool being put into position for a major energy industry project.

The contract is a multi-million-pound order from Subsea 7 to provide large diameter steel pipe for Statoil’s Snorre Expansion Project off the coast of Norway.

For Hartlepool it means work for nearly a year for the workers in the 84-inch mill.

But the good news does not end there. Bosses expect it to bethe first in an expected series of new orders for the 140-worker site - and that could well mean more jobs in the future.

For now, the Statoil deal will protect the existing workers and the pipe for the Subsea 7 order will be the largest diameter ever produced at the mill.

There is huge excitement at Hartlepool about this landmark order. The team effort that has gone into the award of this contract shows the character and determination of all involved at Liberty Pipes Hartlepool

Andy Hill

New orders are also expected soon that will boost production substantially over the coming months on Liberty Pipes Hartlepool’s 42-inch pipe mill.

Following his acquisition of the plants, industrialist Sanjeev Gupta, founder and executive chairman of Liberty House – part of the GFG Alliance – pledged to restore the mills to their former prominence in key markets such as oil and gas and construction.

Liberty Pipes managing director, Andy Hill, said: “There is huge excitement at Hartlepool about this landmark order. The team effort that has gone into the award of this contract shows the character and determination of all involved at Liberty Pipes Hartlepool.

“The team has pulled together an incredibly effective offering to Subsea 7 and has been rewarded with a contract that shows faith not only in our past experience, but in our future abilities as well.”

Subsea 7 is a global seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services contractor.

It chose Liberty to provide the pipe for its engineering, construction and installation contract with Statoil – one of the world’s largest offshore energy companies – for the expansion of the Snorre oil and gas project in the Tampen area, nearly 150 miles off the Norwegian coast.

This includes the installation of three pipeline bundles - using pipe from Hartlepool which wll be made into bundles in its fabrication facilities at Wick, Scotland, with installation on site in the North Sea scheduled for 2019 and 2020.

The contract is the largest secured by the Hartlepool plant since Liberty purchased the 42-inch and 84-inch submerged arc-welded pipe mills from Tata Steel UK last year.

Pipe for the Snorre scheme will be manufactured in nine metre lengths from heavy duty steel plate designed to withstand the hostile environment of the North Sea and then welded into 27 metre spools which will be coated at the Hartlepool plant before being transported to Subsea 7’s fabrication unit at Wick.

Liberty Pipes chief executive, James Annal, added: “The vision of Liberty House Group to restore steel making in the UK to its former glory has taken an incredibly positive step. The award of this contract secures multiple jobs at the mill and provides a foundation for sustainable growth over the coming months and years.”