Three ‘sea giants’ docked in Sunderland

Trio of giant visitors to Port of Sunderland.

Trio of giant visitors to Port of Sunderland.

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THREE giant visitors have been dominating the skyline at the Port of Sunderland.

The Normand Pioneer, Maersk Responder and MPI Resolution have all been docked at the port over the last week, after choosing Sunderland as the base for a range of offshore projects.

The MPI Resolution was berthed at Greenwells Quay while awaiting a new job. The vessel, which boats six 45-metre legs that ground into the seabed to create a composite unit similar to a rig, was based at the port for a week before leaving for the North Sea on a new offshore project.

The Maersk Responder, an offshore construction vessel, is using the port for a project it is undertaking over the course of the next month and multi-purpose anchor handler the Normand Pioneer was in Sunderland to undertake a cable spooling operation before heading out to the North Sea.

Port director Matthew Hunt said the visits were evidence of the work that had been going on to attract new business.

“We have been working for a number of years to build Port of Sunderland’s reputation as a hub for new, renewable and offshore energy and subsea engineering projects, and it is fantastic that we are increasingly seeing that hard work come to fruition,” he said.

“It doesn’t get much better than seeing three major offshore vessels berthed in the port at one time, a very visible sign that our endeavours and those of the council and port board are paying off.”

The arrival of the three vessels comes after a successful start to the year for the port, with bosses reporting a profit for the second year running after years operating at a loss.

City council leader Coun Paul Watson is chairman of the port board. He said: “It is fantastic to see the waters of the Wear are once again contributing to the prosperity of the city’s economy.

“The sight of major offshore vessels berthed at the port really does go to prove that we are getting our offer right in Sunderland, and providing support and services to businesses in the sector that really is second to none.

“It’s a real feather in our cap to have major names in the sector choosing to do business with our port, and this is beginning to deliver real, tangible benefits for the city.”