Cygnus Alpha Topside Nearing Completion At Heerema’s Hartlepool Yard

February 2014, Vol. 241 No. 2

The Cygnus project, located 150-km off the coast of Lincolnshire, England, which will develop the largest gas discovery in the Southern North Sea in the last 25 years, is about to reach its next milestone.

Construction of the Cygnus Alpha platform, the first of four platforms for the Cygnus field, is nearing completion at Heerema’s fabrication yard in Hartlepool, UK. The 1,640-ton Cygnus Alpha Wellhead topsides left the fabrication hall of Heerema Hartlepool’s Victoria dock facility in late December. Further work, including installation of the platform crane, mechanical completion and commissioning activities, will be completed on the dock side. The Alpha Wellhead topsides, at 23 by 23 by 10 meters, is scheduled for completion in Spring 2014.

In August 2012, GDF SUEZ E&P UK and its partners, Centrica Energy and Bayerngas, appointed Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard to build three topsides, a compression module, two bridges and a flare tower for the four offshore platforms for the Cygnus project.

The 4,400-ton process and utilities topsides for the Alpha platform are also under construction, as well as the 3,500-ton wellhead topsides for the Bravo platform, with scheduled delivery in the first half of 2015.

The Cygnus project will secure about 450 jobs in the area and involve more than a million man hours of fabrication at Heerema’s Hartlepool site for the project during 2014.

Jean-Claude Perdigues, managing director of GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd, said, “The move-out of the Alpha wellhead topsides is a significant step in the Cygnus project. Construction is running on schedule and we are on track to meet our target of first gas in 2015.”

About £1.4 billion (GBP) is being invested in the Cygnus project, with the intent to maximize UK-based company content, creating 4,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase.

The Cygnus Partnership is led by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd (38.75%) with partners Centrica Energy (48.75%) and Bayerngas (12.5%). The Cygnus project is expected to contribute 5% to UK gas production at its 2016 peak, supplying gas to the equivalent to 1.5 million homes in Britain.