Sheffield Forgemasters secures £5.5m in offshore contracts

Published: 24 June 2008

Unique specialist castings, invented and produced in Sheffield to handle the demands of the world's roughest seas, have secured contracts for Sheffield Forgemasters worth £5.5m during a three month period.

Sheffield Forgemasters has been awarded the contracts because of its status as the unique global provider of high strength cast joints.

Originally developed to provide improved fatigue resistant, these items are also used to provide lifting components capable of allowing offshore structures weighing more than 10,000 tonnes to be lifted into place.

More than £4.7m of the contracts are to provide structural lifting castings for the North Sea oil rigs of Valhall and Buzzard, enabling vast sections of each platform to be lifted into place and providing ongoing structural strength.

Paul Mockford, design director, said: "Sheffield Forgemasters developed cast nodes for use in offshore structures in the 1980's and we now have a unique track record of supplying large, structural castings for safety critical applications to the offshore oil and gas industry.

"The supply of castings to the offshore sector is a core service of Sheffield Forgemasters. We carry out the detailed design of these items and work very closely with the deck or jacket designer to ensure that our components are designed for the huge loads placed on them, not only during the lifting process, but also in service as an integral part of the structure."

Sheffield Forgemasters taps into the diverse wealth of expertise carried by parent company Sheffield Forgemasters International to provide specialist services ranging from design to engineering production solutions, contract management and outsourcing, building on the parent company's 25 year pedigree in producing critical offshore castings.

Paul added: "Sheffield Forgemasters' continued refinement of offshore castings and the wealth of evidence for their proven capability puts the company in a very strong position and in support of this. Sheffield Forgemasters secured over 50 per cent of its full year budgeted orders in the final quarter of 2007 alone."

The contracts consist of four castings, weighing between 25T and 45T each for the jacket support structure of the Valhall platform on behalf of Aker Solutions, formerly Aker Kvaerner, and four more castings on behalf of BP, which will lift Valhall's 11250 tonne operating deck into place.

A third contract is for four lifting points for the 6000 tonne Buzzard deck, each weighing approximately 30 tonnes, on behalf of Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited. This follows on from Forgemasters previous involvement in the Buzzard project, when structural castings were provided for the three original platforms in the Buzzard field through Vulcan's predecessor, OSCAL.

The remaining contracts, making a total of £5.5m, are also for offshore projects including the supply of winch drums and mooring points for floating vessels.