One of the world’s most advanced manufacturing facilities has been officially opened on the banks of the river Tyne.
Bosses at Technip Umbilicals hope the new 58-metre high steel tube umbilical manufacturing facility will strengthen their position as a key subsea player.
And the new plant, at Walker Riverside near Wallsend, will safeguard more than 150 jobs thanks to support from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.
Officials say the increased capability will allow them to access the full market and maximise its steel tube offer to meet the growing demand of the subsea sector which is increasingly operating at greater water depths in the ocean.
An official opening over two days for both staff and VIPs and clients included an exhibition which charted the history of the company since its beginning in 1978, as well as showcasing new technology.
The facility already has a manufacturing site with a 600-strong workforce and an extensive research and development capability.
Jean-Louis Rostaing, managing director, said: “We are currently a leading player in umbilical technology with a track record for large and complex dynamic systems.
“The investment we have now made in advanced steel tube umbilicals is aimed at satisfying future market demand for deep water, long tieback and large complex umbilical systems.
“This investment will contribute to consolidating our leading position in our sector.
“With this fantastic new facility backed by a world class workforce, we can look forward to the future with great anticipation and confidence. There is already strong market demand with over a year’s worth of orders already booked into the new facility.”