ArcelorMittal is to invest 15 million Euros on expanding production capacity at its Bourg-en-Bresse plant in Eastern France following an two-year extension of a five-year partnership agreement between the world's largest steelmaker and Technip, a project management, engineering and construction company serving the global energy industry.

In September 2013, the two companies signed the agreement with a view to ArcelorMittal supplying high strength steels for the manufacture of flexible pipes for deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil and gas fields, some for use at depths in excess of 1,500 metres.

ArcelorMittal's Bourg-en-Bresse facility produces the steel needed for the deepwater flexible pipes. A press release issued by the steelmaker points out that '...the agreement signed in 2013 sustained the operations at Bourg-en-Bresse...and this agreement will reinforce it.

According to ArcelorMittal Bourg-en-Bresse has become Technip’s supplier of choice for 'high-end technological and innovative solutions'. Technip flexible pipe manufacturing plants located in France, Brazil and Malaysia are supplied by the Bourg-en-Bresse facility.

In addition to the commercial contract the two companies have signed a research and innovation contract designed to strengthen technological progress at the Bourg-en-Bresse plant, which is developing custom products designed to meet Technip’s requirements.

Patrick Laudamy, CEO of ArcelorMittal Bourg-en-Bresse, said that the investment in the plant demonstrates ArcelorMittal's confidence in the technical speciality marketplace. He said that the Bourg-en-Bresse plant had become Technip’s preferred partner for the supply of high-strength steels and that ArcelorMittal was strengthening its teams and production capacity accordingly. "We will also pursue our research and innovation efforts," he added.

As for Technip, the company's group senior vice president for global manufacturing, Jean-François Niel, said that ArcelorMittal provides 'an indisputable competitive advantage in the market'. He said that technology and innovation were an integral part of the design of Technip's pipes.