Shepherd Offshore has dug deep to achieve another major milestone in the multi-million pound development of Tyneside’s Neptune Energy Park.
A dredger took two months to move a mountain of silt from the riverbed next to the former Neptune shipyard so that deep-hulled vessels can now berth alongside the Park’s 700 tonnes heavy load out pad.
The company hopes that the improved facility will draw further business from Scotland’s offshore oil and gas industries to North East England.
Scooping out over 20,000 cubic metres of silt has created an 8.5 metre deep water berth at the 760 metre long quay, enabling larger vessels to come alongside for the loading and off-loading of reel products, equipment, machinery and fabricated structures as well as mobilisation and demobilisation projects.
It means the Neptune Energy Park can now store reel products for its existing customers – which include GE Oil & Gas, Duco (Technip Umbilical Systems) and Bridon Ropes, all major players in the burgeoning North East offshore industry – and is available for a whole range of maritime fabrication and conversion projects for leading oil and gas companies such as Subsea 7 and Technip.
Neptune Energy Park’s General Manager, Stewart Boak, said: “This is a vital step forward in attracting more business to the Tyne.
“It’s a major new facility for the riverside. More than 7,300 tonnes of fabrications, modules and product reels can be stored next to the quayside.
“Nearly 14,000 square metres of developed quayside concrete fabrication and assembly area is available at the deep water quay making it an ideal location to meet the needs of our existing customers and new customers.
“It’s a huge, open concrete space which offers tremendous facilities and makes the Tyne an increasingly attractive place for business.
“There has been a lot of interest shown already, particularly from Aberdeen, which is widely recognised as the oil and gas capital of Europe, and where multi-national companies are looking for extra capacity.”
Next to the heavy load out pad is a dry dock, measuring 217 metres long, 32 metres wide and 11 metres deep, which offers one of the largest secure test and demonstration facilities in Europe, with on-site heavy lift cranes, hard standing areas and covered storage areas.
It was recently used as a construction base for the water-tight concrete sections of the new Tyne Tunnel, which were built in dock before being floated down the river and sunk into position.
And just last month, a 7000 tonne concrete pontoon, part of a £25 million Humberside port development, was successfully built and floated out of the dock to be towed down to Grimsby to take its place in a new roll-on, roll-off terminal.
Mr Boak added: “Everything we are doing here is aimed at providing first-class services on the River Tyne to attract successful companies to the area, which in turn will benefit the whole area economically.”
Press Release, June 26, 2013