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Subsea Cable Firm's Tees Valley Facility Set for Important Role in its Future

17 May 2011

Asubsea cable firm's Tees Valley facility is expected to play an important part in its future growth as it looks to concentrate on its key energy markets.

JDR Cable Systems, which manufactures subsea power cables and umbilical systems for the offshore oil, gas and renewables industries at its Hartlepool facility, has sold a division specialising in cabling for oceanographic surveys.

It said the sale of its Rotterdam based Marine Cables division to Fugro was so it could concentrate on its core markets, which has seen the Hartlepool facility secure millions of pounds worth of work.

In a statement JDR Cable Systems said: "The divestment of Marine Cables, which specialises in cabling for seismic and oceanographic data gathering systems, will enable JDR Cable Systems to focus on the umbilical systems and subsea power cables business where it has developed a market-leading position.

"JDR intends to develop this business, which operates from sites in Littleport, Hartlepool, Houston, Norway and Thailand, to further to exploit significant growth opportunities."

Although the company would not comment on the potential benefits to the Tees Valley of the new strategy, it is known to have been delighted by the success of its Hartlepool facility, which it opened in July 2009.

Last year it announced it was expanding its base at Hartlepool dock from 100,000sq ft to 216,000sq ft, and aiming to more than double its workforce there to 150 by 2012 as part of its continuing expansion plans.

In December 2009 the firm secured a £33m deal for work connected to the world's biggest wind farm, the London Array, in the Thames estuary.

Last year it completed work on the £42m Wave Hub project, in effect, a massive electrical socket on the seabed off the coast of Cornwall to test tidal power projects.

The firm was chosen to construct the armoured 25km subsea cable that connects Wave Hub to the National Grid and the hub structure that sits on the seabed.

In March this year it announced the Hartlepool yard would provide cables for two oil and gas projects in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.

The firm is a key part of a growing North-East hub of offshore wind expertise.

TAG Energy Solutions is building a plant manufacturing offshore wind turbine foundations, near Stockton, with Tata Steel planning a similar facility in Redcar, Clipper Windpower is developing the world's largest turbine blade at a 25m plant near Newcastle, and Europe's leading wind turbine testing factory is at the New and Renewable Energy Centre, in Northumberland.