Construction Begins on Cygnus Gas Development

GDF SUEZ has announced that the ceremonial first cut of steel for the $2.3 billion Cygnus gas field project took place Wednesday at Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard in North East England, with partners Centrica Energy and Bayerngas in attendance.

Mayor of Hartlepool Stuart Drummond performed the first cut of the steel, which will be used to build the 1,600-ton 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'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 one million man-hours of fabrication, with approximately 450 people working at the Hartlepool site on the project during 2014

Approximately $2.3 billion (GBP 1.4 billion) 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.

GDF SUEZ E&P UK Managing Director Jean-Claude Perdigues commented in a statement:

"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, Centrica Energy Upstream's southern North Sea director, added: "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."

The Cygnus Partnership is led by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK, which has a 38.75-percent stake. Centrica and Bayerngas hold 48.75 percent and 12.5 percent respectively.

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