Liberty Pipes, owned by Liberty Group, which is part of the GFG Alliance, has secured a multi-million pound order for large diameter steel pipe from Subsea 7 for its Statoil Snorre expansion project off the coast of Norway.

The contract is claimed to be the largest secured by the Hartlepool plant since Liberty purchased the 42” and 84” submerged arc-welded pipe mills from Tata Steel UK last year.

Liberty says it's all part of reinstating Hartlepool pipe mills 'as a global force in the oil and gas sector'.

According to the company, the contract will mean the production of 13kt of steel pipe and that will provide work on the plant’s 84" mill for nearly a year. The order is the first of an expected series of new orders for the 140-worker site, which is now making a strong comeback following acquisition by Liberty House Group last September.

The pipe for the Subsea 7 order will be the largest diameter ever produced at the mill, and new orders in the pipeline, so to speak, will boost production substantially over the coming months on Liberty Pipes Hartlepool’s 42” pipe mill.

Industrialist Sanjeev Gupta, founder and executive chairman of Liberty House has always pledged to restore the mills to their former glory in key markets such as oil and gas and construction and now it looks as if his vision is becoming reality.

Subsea 7, the global seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services contractor, chose Liberty to provide the pipe for its engineering, construction and installation contract with Statoil – one of the world’s largest offshore energy companies – for the expansion of the Snorre oil and gas project in the Tampen area, nearly 150 miles off the Norwegian coast.

The deal includes the installation of three pipeline bundles containing the flowlines and control umbilicals necessary for part of the operation. Using pipe from Hartlepool, Subsea 7 will produce the pipeline bundles in its fabrication facilities at Wick, Scotland, with installation on-site in the North Sea scheduled for 2019 and 2020.

Pipe for the Snorre scheme will be manufactured in nine-metre lengths from heavy duty steel plate designed to withstand the hostile environment of the North Sea and then welded into 27m spools which will be coated at the Hartlepool plant before being transported to Subsea 7’s fabrication unit at Wick.

Andy Hill, Liberty Pipes' managing director, said there is huge excitement at Hartlepool about this 'landmark order'.

"The team effort that has gone into the award of this contract shows the character and determination of all involved at Liberty Pipes Hartlepool. The team has pulled together an incredibly effective offering to Subsea 7 and has been rewarded with a contract that shows faith not only in our past experience, but in our future abilities as well,” he said.

James Annal, Liberty Pipes' CEO, added: “The vision of Liberty House Group to restore steel making in the UK to its former glory has taken an incredibly positive step. The award of this contract secures multiple jobs at the mill and provides a foundation for sustainable growth over the coming months and years.”