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SubSea 7 preparing to start work on three pipelines for Aker BP

By Gordon Calder

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SUBSEA 7 is preparing to start work on the first of three pipeline bundles for Aker BP in the North Sea. The news of the contract, which will involve the the company's Caithness yards at Wester and Hastigrow, was this week described as "really heartening" by local business chief Trudy Morris. She said the work will give a boost to the far north economy, employ " a significant number of people" and benefit the local supply chain.

An Aberdeen-based spokeswoman for SubSea 7 said the company is "currently preparing to start work" on the project.

"Subsea 7's unique pipeline bundle technology incorporates all structures, isolations, valve work, pipelines and control systems necessary to operate a field in one single product.

"The first pipeline bundle for the PWP-Fenris Project in the Central North Sea, will be two kilometres long and is due to be launched in 2024. The second and third pipeline bundles for the Yggdrasil Field located approximately 450kms north of Fenris, will be 7.6km and 6.8km in length and these will be launched in 2025.

Pipes for the SubSea 7 contract pictured at Wick harbour. Photo by Alan Hendry
Pipes for the SubSea 7 contract pictured at Wick harbour. Photo by Alan Hendry

She added: "Subsea7’s Wester workforce regularly adapts to meet project requirements and at its peak will increase to approximately 120 people to execute the fabrication work for these projects."

Ms Morris, the chief executive of the Caithness Chamber of Commerce, said: "It is really heartening to see Subsea 7’s contracts come to fruition. Contracts such as this are planned well ahead and they will be a welcome boost to the local economy for the next couple of years, employing a significant number of people and benefitting the local supply chain."

She added: "The company has a long track record of producing these pipeline bundles for the North Sea and it is a feat of engineering, fabricating, and launching them from the Wester Site. This comes at a time when we could all do with a good news story and hopefully when these contracts near completion there will be others not far behind."

Pipeline bundles have been fabricated in Caithness since 1978 – initially by Kestrel Marine but by SubSea 7 for many years.

The company's Caithness sites comprise two fabrication shops plus office, maintenance, storage and launch facilities.

Construction tracks provide a total capacity of almost 28km for pipeline bundles and associated work.

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