NEL Moves Forward with £16M Subsea Centre of Excellence

NEL has started the build of its £16-million Centre of Excellence (CoE) for subsea development.

Reportedly, the new high pressure multiphase flow test facility will have the largest test range in the world, positioning Scotland as a world leader in multiphase flow measurement.

The CoE should allow a greater understanding of the impact of higher operating pressures on measurement equipment in extreme subsea environments. The testing range of the new facility includes single-phase, multiphase and dry gas, at operating pressures up to 150 bar – doubling current existing capabilities to replicate subsea production conditions.

Its range and combination of operating pressures, temperatures, flowrates and metrology will be unique worldwide, NEL noted.

The new CoE building will span 1,600 m2, and contain a £1.45 million, full production scale separator, with an operating weight of 270 tonnes.

Focussed predominantly on the £50billion per annum global subsea sector, the CoE will facilitate company-led industrial projects and product development, SME support, hands-on industry training, and academic research. The centre will future proof the delivery of innovative technical services to the oil & gas production market for the next 25 years.

Brian Millington, NEL’s managing director, said: “The investment in the CoE marks a significantly positive step for the global oil & gas sector. This new world-leading facility will support the industry to address the crucial goal of maximising economic recovery and reducing fiscal uncertainty. Once complete, NEL will be operating the only facility to offer the full range of flow rates and high pressure capabilities.

“Starting the building work for the CoE brings to life our mission to help industry optimise all aspects of production through accurate measurement, while supporting Scotland’s international standing within the global oil and gas sector.”

Scottish Enterprise has supported the development of the centre with £4.9 million of research and development funding.

Managing director of Strategy and Sectors at Scottish Enterprise, Linda Hanna, said: “This is a fantastic milestone in the centre’s development. It will enable Scotland to maximise its competitiveness in multi-phase flow measurement, and support the sector to take further advantage of opportunities in the £50 billion global subsea market, identified in Scottish Enterprise’s Subsea Engineering Action Plan. NEL is an ambitious and forward thinking organisation and we are delighted to be working closely with them to support their plans for future growth.”

NEL’s parent company, TÜV SÜD AG is investing £11.1 million, alongside the grant from Scottish Enterprise. The project marks the largest capital investment to date in the company’s UK business.

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