A NORTH East port is reeling in new business after investing in facilities that have extended its capabilities.
Port of Sunderland has won the latest in a number of spooling projects, with the offshore vessel Skandi Vega paying a visit to Greenwells Quay to utilise the port’s newly enhanced infrastructure. The vessel sailed in to the port to directly spool approximately 115 tonnes of steel wire from a winch on the quay onto the vessel deck.
It is the latest project of its kind delivered by the port, which undertook a similar project at the end of last year for offshore giant Balfour Beatty.
The port was able to attract the new contract after impressing the team responsible for the project with the efficiency of its work for Balfour Beatty, which was completed in November when the 7,000 tonne Nexans Skagerrak sailed into the waters of the Wear to spool wind farm power cable into a storage facility. The port has invested significantly in its capabilities in recent years, which has allowed it to take on a range of projects that may previously have been out of reach.
Matthew Hunt, director at Port of Sunderland, said: “The project we delivered back in November was an incredibly technical operation, but we have a fantastic agile team and equally impressive facilities at the port now, which meant we were able to meet the challenging requirements of the project and secure the contract with Balfour Beatty.
“This latest assignment was a direct consequence of the successful delivery of the Balfour Beatty contract, and we have once again proven that we have the technical wherewithal to very comfortably take on projects of this kind. It’s a huge coup for the port and we expect it will open more doors for us, as we look to build upon the hugely successful few years we have had, following significant investment in our facilities and infrastructure.”
The municipally owned port has been backed by its City Council-owners, with investment in the hardstanding on several of the port’s quays, as well as the purchase of equipment, which it is expected will be added to in the coming months.
The most recent spooling project saw the Skandi Vega berth on one of the port’s river berths, which is less than five minutes from open sea. The vessel was positioned stern to the quay while the spooling operation was completed, then back-loaded all the equipment before sailing for Norway.
Mr Hunt believes the operation further cements Port of Sunderland's reputation as a gateway to offshore and renewable energy sector.
He said: “We’ve seen a consistent increase in the business coming into the port recently, and much of that is thanks to investment we have put into the facilities and infrastructure on site. The port really is going from strength-to-strength and we’re excited to see what the future holds.”