And there it goes... giant topside sets sail from Methil

4600 tonne Cygnus accommodation module, together with a 3400 tonne wellhead jacket and piles, leaves BiFab's Methil yard
4600 tonne Cygnus accommodation module, together with a 3400 tonne wellhead jacket and piles, leaves BiFab's Methil yard

One of the largest oil and gas topsides built this year set sail today (Wednesday) from BiFab’s Methil yard.

The 4600 tonne Cygnus accommodation module, together with a 3400 tonne wellhead jacket and piles, are now en route to the Cygnus gas field located 150 kilometres off the Lincolnshire coast.

The sail away marks the safe and successful completion of two major contracts by the Fife fabricator on behalf of the gas field’s operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd (part of the ENGIE Group) and partners Centrica Energy and Bayerngas.

The contract to design and construct four jackets, complete with piles, was signed in August 2012. The first three jackets, totalling 7935 tonnes were completed in summer 2014 and have already been installed on site. The fourth and final jacket was completed by BiFab earlier this year, and has been stowed in Dundee ready for deployment in tandem with the accommodation module.

The accommodation module contract award was announced by then UK Energy Minster Ed Davey in Aberdeen in May 2013.

The new module will be home to 66 workers and comprises living quarters, helideck and fire and rescue facilities.

Commenting on the completion, John Robertson, BiFab’s Managing Director, said: “The safe and successful completion of this contract demonstrates the tremendous skills and capabilities of BiFab’s workforce in Methil, Burntisland and Arnish to deliver a quality product, on schedule and with a good safety culture, and they should be congratulated on a job well done.

“The Cygnus project has over 80 per cent UK content and showcases the ability of home-grown yards to meet the quality requirements of European energy customers. We continue to work closely with the Scottish and UK Government to identify new opportunities and new sectors in the UK and beyond where BiFab can win new business and provide skilled jobs.”

The Cygnus field is the largest discovery in the Southern Gas Basin in the last 25 years. It will be operated by GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd (part of the ENGIE Group) along with partners Centrica Energy and Bayerngas and is expected to meet demand for nearly one and half million homes. It will be the UK’s second largest operating gas field, accounting for around five per cent of the UK’s gas production.