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Wester Deals Bring Major Boost for Jobs

16 July 2010

Two multi-million-pound contracts won by a Wick firm will provide a major jobs boost for the Caithness economy.

The fabrication of a total of five pipeline bundles at Subsea 7's Wester site is expected to employ 150 staff by the end of the year.

Site manager Willie Watt confirmed this week that the company had been awarded contracts with BP and American-based oil firm Apache North Sea Ltd.

He said work would get under way in early September and estimated that it would result in the workforce increasing from its current number of 13 to 150.

Mr Watt described the award of the contracts as "significant", and pointed out that when in place the four pipeline bundles for the BP Andrew development in the North Sea will measure just over 27 kilometres and be the longest of their kind ever installed.

"We are actively recruiting people at the moment and will start the construction of the 6.8 kilometre pipeline for Apache's Bacchus field in September with a launch date scheduled for February 2011," he told the John O'Groat Journal.

"By November this year we will be working on the BP contract as well and should have around 150 employees here at Wester about that time."

Two of the BP bundles will be launched in May 2011 with the two others due to be floated out four months later.

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