A DEEP-sea pipe manufacturer is to create 100 new jobs by opening a new plant in Southampton.
Specialist Hampshire-based oil and gas pipeline firm Magma Global is creating the new high-tech facility thanks in part to a £8.76m investment from the Business Growth Fund, which was set up to help small and medium-sized UK businesses.
The new plant, which the company said will be built on a brownfield site in Southampton with deepwater access, will make the next generation of carbon fibre pipes that can enable oil and gas companies to access harsher undersea environments.
With existing technology reaching the limit of their capacity, Magma hopes to capitalise on the need for a composite alternative that can cope with the demands of operating under higher pressures, while offering benefits of weight, resistance to corrosion and ease of installation.
Magma, which currently employs 90 people at its Porstmouth base, is aiming to take advantage of one of the fastest-growing markets within the oil and gas industry, in which British expertise and technology is already leading the world.
Pipelines are expected to account for more than half of the $139bn (£87bn) projected spend on under-sea hardware over the next five years.
The Southampton plant will be able to produce up to 250km of pipe a year.
It will make pipes up to 4km long which can be stored on a spool and taken away by installation vessels from the deep water quay, to export pipe to international markets, and provide a platform for further international expansion.
As well as BGF, Magma has attracted funding from a Canadian specialist energy investor and Danish venture capital firm for the new facility.
Magma’s founder and chief executive, Martin Jones said: “In the last two years we have grown from a team of five to a total workforce of 90 and an order book of in excess of $70m.”