Construction has begun on NEL’s new, £16 million Centre of Excellence (CoE) for subsea development. According to NEL, a specialist in flow measurement research and development, its new high pressure multiphase flow test facility will have the largest test range in the world.
NEL’s new facility is being built to allow a greater understanding of the impact of higher operating pressures on measurement equipment in extreme subsea environments. The testing range on the new facility includes single phase, multiphase and dry gas, at operating pressures up to 150 bar – double the current capabilities to replicate subsea production conditions.
The range and combination of operating pressures, temperatures, flowrates and metrology in the CoE will be unique worldwide, claims NEL.
“The investment in the CoE marks a significantly positive step for the global oil & gas sector, which has faced increasing challenges over recent years,” said Brian Millington, NEL’s managing director.
“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.”
With a primary focus 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 new investment will create at least 17 jobs, and safeguard a further 82.
“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,” continued Millington.
Support for research and development of the new project has come from Scottish Enterprise, which has provided £4.9 million of research and development funding.
“This is a fantastic milestone in the development of NEL’s Centre of Excellence, which will create world-leading research facilities,” said Linda Hanna, managing director of Strategy and Sectors at Scottish Eneterprise.
“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.”
TÜV SÜD, NEL’s parent company, is investing £11.1 million into the project, marking the largest capital investment to date in the company’s UK business.