Housed in one of the tallest single floor buildings in Europe, at 58 metres, the world’s most advanced steel tube umbilical manufacturing facility, which reinforces Technip Umbilicals’ position as a key subsea player, has been officially opened.
The increased capability will allow the company to access the full market and maximise its steel tube offer to meet the growing demand of the subsea sector which is increasingly operating at greater water depths in the ocean.
The box-shaped building houses a gigantic vertical helix assembly machine (VHAM) and extrusion line. Externally, and very close by, are two large capacity carousels. The sheathing line is the most modern in the industry. The VHAM facility will be able to produce extremely long length umbilicals, of considerable diameter whilst incorporating large numbers of components to meet the industry’s worldwide requirements for the foreseeable future.
With safety an absolute prerequisite, there are numerous built-in safety sensors and ergonomically designed workstations including an automated access gantry to the carousels. From a quality perspective, it has the industry’s first wireless control system for continuous monitoring and control to ensure perfect quality.
This new plant, located at Walker Riverside, Newcastle, has been supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and will safeguard over 150 jobs.
A colourful official opening over two days for both staff and international VIPs and clients, included an exhibition which charted the history of the Company since its beginning in 1978, as well as showcasing new technology.
The facility is strategically located on the Walker Riverside, where Technip Umbilicals – a wholly owned subsidiary of Technip – already has a manufacturing site with a 600-strong workforce and an extensive research and development capability. The Newcastle site boasts an ideal location next to a deep water berth with easy access to all Norwegian, southern North Sea and all European fields as well as good shipping to the rest of the world.
The facility, similar in concept to a plant Technip opened 20 years ago in Houston, USA, and is embracing modern technologies and processes and is much larger.
In line with the renaming of DUCO Ltd and DUCO Inc to Technip Umbilicals Ltd and Technip Umbilicals Inc by the end of the year, Technip Umbilicals will refer to the manufacturing sites in the UK and the US as well as Angoflex Ltda and Asiaflex Products. This rebrand reflects the global expertise and project management across the Technip Umbilicals sites.
A global player in oilfield services sector for 30 years, Technip Umbilicals designs, manufactures and supplies bespoke steel tube and thermoplastic and power cable umbilical solutions to the global offshore oil and gas market.
Jean-Louis Rostaing, Managing Director, at Technip Umibilicals, said: “We are currently a leading player in umbilical technology with a track record for large and complex dynamic systems, including the world’s largest and heaviest umbilical manufactured for BP Skarv at 325mm OD and over 200kg/m. The investment we have now made in advanced steel tube umbilicals is aimed at satisfying future market demand for deep water, long tieback and large complex umbilical systems.
“This investment will contribute to consolidating our leading position in our sector by ensuring that we have the capacity and capability to meet our clients’ needs for both steel tube and thermoplastic umbilicals. The fact that the technology is housed in what is believed to be one of Europe’s tallest single floor buildings says everything about our ambition.
“With this fantastic new facility backed by a world class workforce, we can look forward to the future with great anticipation and confidence. There is already strong market demand with over a year’s worth of orders already booked into the new facility.”