A NORTH-EAST engineering company has been praised by energy bosses for its specialist work on an Australian project.

Family firm Francis Brown, in Stockton, carried out submerged arc welding for 50 subsea connectors.

The equipment is now on board a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, which will play a key role on the Ichthys liquefied natural gas project, in Western Australia.

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The Northern Echo exclusively revealed the work last month.

NOF Energy, which operates across the oil, gas, nuclear and offshore renewable sectors, has now praised the 111-year-old company.

Founded as a wire trap and soil sieve shop in 1903, Francis Brown worked alongside Ashington-based Flexible Engineered Solutions International (FESI), which made further connectors.

Paul Livingstone, NOF Energy’s business development manager, said: “This project is a great example of the strength of the NOF network.

“More than 470 members are among the most experienced and skilled companies in the world and we can identify projects where they can work together because they know each other’s strengths and specialist skills.”

Jamie Brown, Francis Brown’s managing director, added: “This was a high-profile job, with no room for error.

“Submerged arc welding is a technique we have perfected and is a requirement of the oil and gas industry, so we had up to ten guys working on it for 18 months to make sure it went as smoothly as possible.

“That sort of experience means the five apprentices we have are also getting experience of some of our most high-specification projects, which is a great foundation for the future of the industry.”

The Northern Echo also previously revealed the company has supplied turnpoints for Reef Subsea, in Norway, to identify underwater routes for cabling, and sent subsea templates to Aberdeen’s Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering, which are used in drilling.