Sunderland firm lands major deal supplying ‘Christmas trees’ to Angola

Haskel Europe's Wearside plant

Haskel Europe's Wearside plant

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CHRISTMAS has come early for Wearside engineering firm Haskel Europe.

The company has landed a deal to sell four test stations - major capital pieces of equipment – to Angola.

Haskel Europe's Steve Learney

Haskel Europe's Steve Learney

The Christmas tree is a key piece of oil company equipment, which includes 1000s of pipes and valves, many of which Haskel also supplies. With its many spools and fittings, the Christmas tree was so named because of its resemblance to a decorated tree.

Haskel’s equipment will test every one of the pipes and valves attached to the tree to make sure they are performing properly. The test stations are now complete and will be shipped to Angola from Sunderland this month.

Stephen Learney, Haskel Europe’s managing director, said: “Business in Angola’s oil and gas sector is buoyant. We’re delighted to be winning new contracts in Angola and other African countries, and as all the design, engineering and manufacturing work is completed at our Sunderland base it means more work for the North East and the UK.”

Haskel now exports to more than 50 countries and overseas sales made up 56 per cent of its business last year.

One contract for Angola involved transforming products to cope with conditions in the southern African country. Sunderland-built air drive pumps and flushing rigs, which mimic what is happening at the bottom of the sea where the oil and gas is being extracted, were exported to One Subsea in Angola.

Export manager Simon Calvert said: “We adapted it to suit the environmental conditions in Angola where the temperatures are up to 55 degrees and the desert is trying to get into the workshop. In this case, there is a chilling and cooling system.

“Each customer has a different requirement and each will be interpreted differently; we tweak the products to meet the customers’ demands, although the majority of the equipment is designed and is available off the shelf within short lead times.”