A MARINE engineering firm has secured a lucrative contract to deliver equipment to the Middle-East, The Northern Echo can reveal.

Subsea Innovation Limited, in Darlington, is sending pipeline clamps and connectors to energy supplier Rasgas.

Bosses say it is a multi-million agreement to work alongside Rasgas, which operates the Qatar Al Khaleej Gas Projects that supplies about two billion standard cubic feet of gas a day.

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They added Subsea is also working on further projects to make waterstops, which protect pipelines, including trials with Hartlepool-based offshore engineer Heerema.

The work comes as the company, which specialises in launch and recovery systems that deploy remotely operated vehicles across the world, prepares to move into new headquarters in Faverdale, Darlington.

It hopes the switch will allow it to secure larger contracts and deliver more jobs.

In January, Martin Moon, Subsea's managing director, ceremonially cut the turf at the greenfield land site, with the 40,000sq ft plant built by Darlington-based J and RM Richardson and designed by Darlington's Architects Design Group.

Mr Moon said: “By increasing, it means we can look at larger work, and can put larger cranes in because of the extra height.

“It is all about getting your customers and keeping them for life.

“The office workers will be moving over for the start of next week, but moving production will be more progressive.

“If we have started a job in our existing site, it will be completed there.

“We have already started some jobs in the new factory, and the change will allow us to take on more projects simultaneously.”

The plant is expected to be fully operational by November, with Subsea’s existing base to be used for equipment storage and some product manufacturing.

Mr Moon said the company hopes a member of the Royal Family will officially open the site later this year.

He also revealed the company, which employs 46 workers, has appointed Dave Thompson as engineering director.

Earlier this year, The Northern Echo revealed Subsea was working on a deal to make 15 launch and recovery systems and supply 3.5 tonne suction pile plugs for an Australian project.

Mr Moon added: “These contracts demonstrate the significant progress we have made over the last two years.

“We are very proud to be part of the supply chain serving the key players in the oil and gas industry.”