Siemens opens Norway subsea technology center

Siemens Energy opened its new subsea technology center on Thursday in Trondheim, Norway.

Siemens invested more than €10 million in the refurbishment of a building in which new process equipment will be developed and manufactured.

The new facility covering an area of 10,000 square meters will be the global research and development center for the company’s subsea oil and gas business. To date, Siemens has created about 250 new jobs.

“This new facility is another major step toward becoming the leading developer of subsea power grid solutions. Trondheim is a technology hub and we can find there the qualified engineers we need for cutting-edge technology,” said Tom Blades, CEO of the oil and gas division of Siemens Energy.

The dilemma of demand growth exacerbated by mature field depletion is forcing oil and gas companies to exploit offshore fields farther out to sea at ever greater water depths.

Full-scale subsea processing is a vital component in enabling the commercial viability of these fields that will be brought on stream in the coming years around the globe in places such as the North Sea, the Americas and West Africa, the company said.

One of the main objectives of deepwater seabed processing is to counter the enormous hydrostatic pressure, while closing the recovery gap compared to a traditional land-based well.

Siemens’ subsea power grid can be deployed at water depths of as much as 3000 meters and is an enabler in closing this gap, opening the way for a more reliable and safer offshore production environment.

“Our aim is to help the oil and gas industry move toward safer and more reliable deepwater production,” said Tom Blades, CEO of the Siemens oil and gas division. “Our new Trondheim subsea technology center significantly expands our subsea capabilities. Solutions made in Trondheim will enable large-scale subsea processing through subsea power grids.”

The subsea technology center is another step in Siemens’ subsea power grid development. In March 2011, Siemens acquired the two Norwegian subsea specialists Poseidon and Bennex to strengthen its in-house capabilities in marinization, subsea engineering, subsea distribution and consulting.

From offices in Stavanger, Bergen and Kongsberg in Norway, Aberdeen in the UK and Houston in the US, these entities give added depth to Siemens subsea competence and product portfolio, the company said.

The new research and development center will be part of the Power Electronics Center, which is already located in Trondheim. This center focuses on innovative development, engineering and production for subsea grid equipment, drilling and marine propulsion systems, and tailor-made converter systems.

Siemens has in the meantime increased its work force in Trondheim from 400 to as many as 650 employees. Trondheim will be the headquarters for subsea activities within the Siemens oil and gas division.

Additional offices will be set up in Houston, Rio de Janeiro and Singapore, according to the company.

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