A NORTH-EAST steel company has signed deals with one of the world’s leading subsea contractors to supply undersea pipes to North Sea projects.

The four contracts worth a combined £10m signed by Tata Steel with Subsea 7 over the past year, will see Tata in Hartlepool supply more than 34miles (55km) of pipe weighing more than 9,000 tonnes.

In addition, to mark the strengthening relations between the two companies, they signed a global framework agreement.

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The pipes will be manufactured at the company’s Hartlepool pipe mills before being welded and coated at its nearby offshore processing centre.

Richard Broughton, of Tata Steel, said: “Our work with Subsea 7 over the years has been extensive, particularly in the North Sea oil and gas industry, which has become an increasingly important market for us.

"The new framework agreement will extend the work our companies already do together on a global scale, demonstrating the value of Tata Steel in today’s oil and gas industry.

“We have the ability to provide the carrier and sleeve pipe and carry out the coating work in-house, demonstrating the customer-focused approach Tata Steel takes. Subsea 7 is an important supply chain partner and our relationship with the company continues to grow.”

There is forecast to be high growth in the coming years in the subsea markets that the two companies serve.

Mr Broughton added: “This latest series of contracts further demonstrates the breadth of our offering to the energy and power sector.

"Over the last 25 years we have provided more than 83,000 tonnes of pipe to Subsea 7 for 37 projects worldwide. From production to engineering, our ability to consistently add value to the services we provide is what sets us apart in the market place.”