Construction begins on Cygnus gas development in the southern North Sea
LONDON -- The ceremonial first cut of steel for the £1.4 billion (GBP) Cygnus gas field project was celebrated today by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK and partners Centrica Energy and Bayerngas at Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard in North East England.
Mr Stuart Drummond, mayor of Hartlepool, performed the first cut of the steel, which will be used to build the 1,600 tonne Cygnus Alpha Wellhead Platform, the first of four platforms for the Cygnus field - the largest gas discovery in the Southern North Sea in the last 25 years.
After project sanction in August 2012, GDF SUEZ E&P UK placed a frame contract with Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard with the intent to place future call-off orders for the fabrication and commissioning of three of the four topsides and a compression module for the Cygnus development. The project is expected to create more than 1 million man hours of fabrication and around 450 people working on Heerema’s Hartlepool site for the project during 2014
Approximately £1.4 billion (GBP) is being invested in the Cygnus project, with the intent to maximise UK-based company content, creating 4,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase.
Stuart Drummond, Mayor of Hartlepool, said: "I' m delighted that Heerema have once again secured a major international frame contract that will both safeguard and create hundreds of jobs in Hartlepool. It shows that, despite the global financial crisis, Hartlepool is well and truly open for business and there is great confidence in the town and our ability to deliver."
Jean-Claude Perdigues, Managing Director, GDF SUEZ E&P UK said: “Today’s ceremony marks a major milestone in the flagship Cygnus project which is bringing substantial jobs and investment to the UK and notably to the Hartlepool area. Construction work has started swiftly and it is a privilege to witness the cutting of first steel for the Cygnus development, which is making such a positive contribution to the UK energy industry and wider economy.”
Greg McKenna, Southern North Sea Director, Centrica Energy Upstream, said: “The Cygnus project will boost jobs in the Hartlepool area and across the UK, and help to secure long term energy supplies for the future. We look forward to working with our partners and the team in Hartlepool to deliver this project safely.”
Bayerngas UK Ltd, Managing Director, Gerry Harrison commented: “Development planning always spans an extensive period and it’s refreshing to see the start of construction. We look forward to working with our partners and contractors to ensure a safe project, delivered on time and on budget.”
Wim Matthijssen, Chief Operating Officer of Heerema Fabrication Group said: “The first cut steel ceremony is an important milestone in the fabrication process of Cygnus, where we physically commence building the first of the topsides at our Hartlepool yard. Heerema has an excellent reputation and proven track record on delivering high quality projects on time, and most importantly safely. ”
The Cygnus Partnership is led by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK (38.75%) with partners Centrica (48.75%) and Bayerngas (12.5%).