A project to build one of the world’s largest pipe-laying systems has reached a major milestone with the arrival of its main tower section at the Port of Blyth.
The 1,000-tonne J-Lay structure, designed by IHC Engineering Business, part of Dutch firm Royal IHC, has been shipped in from the Netherlands.
It was transferred to IHC’s main UK manufacturing and assembly facility, at the Northumberland port’s south harbour terminal using specialist transport units.
IHC Engineering Business is expected to complete work on the pipe-laying system, eventually weighing 2,500 tonnes, at the facility in early 2017. It will form part of a large deep-sea offshore construction vessel.
IHC managing director Paul Hardisty said: ”The J-Lay project is enormously important to us, and we are proud to have reached this critical milestone.
“This is the first major project we will execute at the Port of Blyth. It will pave the way for other major works that we will complete in 2016.
“The establishment of our new facility is a major landmark in the development of IHC and is clear evidence of our commitment to manufacturing in the north east.
“We are grateful for the excellent support received from the Port of Blyth team.”
Port chief executive Martin Lawlor added: “We are delighted to see the arrival of this major structure as part of a significant project for both the port and IHC.
“This demonstrates the close working relationship between our two companies and is another example of the port’s emergence as a major offshore energy hub.”
The port is one of the largest of its kind in the UK, handling up to two million tonnes of cargo a year across five terminals based around the River Blyth.
Together with its logistics and training divisions, the port group has an annual turnover of more than £20m and is expecting to announce record turnover and profitability for 2015 despite challenging global trading conditions.
Such success has been driven by growth across a variety of sectors.