The base was officially opened by Kristian Siem, Chairman of Subsea 7 Inc, Knut Stobakk, the Mayor of Giske Community, Morten Ruud, Executive Vice President of StatoilHydro and Mel Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer of Subsea 7 in a ceremony at the base April 10.
The $30 million/NOK 200 million investment is key to developing Subsea 7's already strong pipelay capability in the North Sea market. Furthermore, it provides a strategic platform for new geographic markets such as the Barents Sea as that region opens up.
The spoolbase is located beside the airport on the island of Vigra on the North West coast of Norway, close to the city of Aalesund. The base runs 3.7 km across the island and includes a purpose-built deepwater quay area, covering a total area of 284 505 mē. This makes it one of the longest spoolbase facilities of its type in the world. The base will employ up to 75 people when working at normal capacity, rising to 120 in peak periods.
The spooling line length (from seaward end of stalk racks to quay) is 2037m. The quay is an L-shaped design, enabling the pipelay vessels to moor alongside the 110m long quay for the pipeline spooling onto the vessel. This gives the opportunity for pipe spooling and mobilisation of equipment simultaneously. Receipt of pipe joints will take place at the same quay and can also be accommodated simultaneously with pipeline spooling activities.
The first project to be undertaken by the base is the fabrication of a 60 km 12-in. gas pipeline for StatoilHydro. The pipeline will run from Kollsnes processing plant to the Mongstad refinery. One of the first vessels into the base is Subsea 7's new $200m Flex-lay / J-Lay vessel the Seven Seas, picking up a pipeline for the StatoilHydro Yttergryta project.
During the opening ceremony Mel Fitzgerald concluded "The opening of Subsea 7's North Sea Spoolbase at Vigra in Norway is another milestone in the development of the company globally. This facility provides us with the ability to deliver the high quality service demanded by our clients across the North Sea and is strategically positioned to potentially serve emerging markets to the north such as the Barents Sea."
Fabrication and base operations will be supported by Petrology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Subsea 7, specialists in pipeline welding processes.
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