New jobs created at Clydebank pipeline centre

A recently opened cutting-edge centre that will develop subsea pipeline technologies for the world's oil and gas markets has already brought 30 new skilled jobs to Clydebank.

The world-leading Global Pipeline Welding Development Centre (GPWDC), funded by a 10 million investment from the major offshore energy contractor Subsea 7, employs a total of 150 people including more than 65 engineering and project management staff.

Graduate engineers are recruited from many of Scotland's leading universities including Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, Napier and the University of West Scotland.

First Minister Alex Salmond officially opened the GPWDC, which was also supported with a grant of 800,000 from Scottish Enterprise.

"This is a world-class centre developing some of the most advanced pipeline technologies anywhere in the industry, bringing new and skilled employment to Clydebank," he said.

"It reinforces the fact that Scotland is leading the way when it comes to new ideas, new solutions and new developments that will help us meet the technical challenges associated with future oil and gas fields."

Subsea 7 will use the centre to create innovative pipeline technologies to satisfy increasing market needs associated with oil and gas discoveries increasingly made in deeper water and tougher conditions.

The technology developed on site will then be deployed by the subsea oil and gas industry around the world, in countries such as the UK, Norway, the USA, Brazil and West Africa.

Steve Wisely, commercial executive vice-president at Subsea 7, expressed his delight at the opening of the new centre.

He regards it as a long-term investment that will provide state-of-the-art technology for many years to come, as well as benefiting the economy in Clydebank and Scotland as a whole.

"There are many technical challenges associated with the subsea market as oil and gas discoveries are being made in deeper water and harsher environments," he added.

"The continued development of new pipeline welding technology is therefore a key enabler for Subsea 7 to help meet these challenges where we need to have access to a world-leading research capability."

Copyright Press Association 2013