Jobs boost for Aberdeen as Semco clinches Culzean work

Danish firm Semco Maritime has delivered a jobs boost for Aberdeen after being chosen for work on the Culzean project in the North Sea.

Semco will carry out electrical hook-up work on the Culzean topside modules when they arrive in the North Sea next summer.

The company will fulfil the order from its Aberdeen base, where posts will be created for 75 to 150 people for the nine months needed to finish the job.

The contract was handed down by Maersk Oil, which operates the £3.3billion Culzean project.

Semco, which also has bases in Invergordon and Norfolk, would not disclose the value of the order, but said it was the largest ever for its Granite City business.

Semco director James Cooper could not say exactly how many north-east-based engineers would find employment on Culzean for Semco.

The company does intend to bring over contractors from Denmark to take advantage of their experience of working with Maersk on other projects.

But he said Semco would look to hire engineers from the Aberdeen to create a “multi-cultural team”.

Semco currently employs more than 50 people, including a number of Danes, at its office in Bridge of Don.

Mr Cooper said: “We’ve got quite a lot of Danish people who have worked with Maersk before, so it would make no sense not to use them.”

He said the Culzean contract award highlighted the advantages of having bases in the same geographic areas as its customers.

He said a team of specialists would go to Singapore to help smooth preparations for the arrival of the three topside modules.

“From our Singapore office, we can plan the work optimally, and thereby increase efficiency and minimise costs when work is to be completed in the North Sea,” Mr Cooper said.

Semco vice-president Carsten Nielsen said: “The Culzean order is a very interesting and challenging project that sets the highest expectations and demands for safety and quality on time, and we will do everything we can to live up to this”.

The three topsides for the Culzean field are being built at Sembcorp Marine’s Admiralty Yard in Singapore ahead of sail-away next year.

The floating storage unit for Culzean is under construction at a separate yard in Singapore.

Maersk Oil and project partners BP and JX Nippon estimate that Culzean, about 150 miles east of Aberdeen, will meet 5% of the UK’s total gas needs at peak production.

First gas is slated for 2019.

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