A DEEP sea cable-laying firm has again joined forces with a fast growing manufacturer on a multi-million pound offshore project

Darlington headquartered CTC Marine Projects Ltd has been awarded a contract by SBM France to install and bury cables off the coast of West Africa.

The contract, for an unspecified sum but running into millions of pounds, includes transportation, installation and burial works in the Anguille oil field, Gabon, and also involves cable manufacturer JDR Cables.

JDR has made the power cable at its Hartlepool base, from where CTC will transport it to Africa.

In September last year CTC carried out the installation of the £42m Wave Hub, a massive electrical socket on the seabed, 16km off the coast of Cornwall.

The hub, and the 25km of subsea cable that connects it to the National Grid onshore, were again manufactured by JDR Cables.

CTC managing director Martin Moon said: "Working alongside JDR on another project together reflects the strength of the region's capabilities in supporting the offshore cable and renewables market both locally and worldwide."

It is only the second time CTC, which is presently recruiting new staff to its 120 strong North-East workforce based at Coniscliffe Road and a separate facility at Teesport, has been involved in a project in West Africa.

The work, for which oil firm Total is the ultimate client, will start in late December and take 75 days to complete.

As well as carrying out laying operations CTC will undertake the burial of 49 kilometres of power cable along the route.

Mr Moon added: "We are delighted to have secured this work with SBM."

CTC and JDR Cables would appear to be a good match to work together.

Although CTC's main specialism is in laying cables for the oil and gas sector, earlier this year it announced its aim to secure more work in the offshore wind market, for which JDR is a world leader in cable production.

CTC's track record in renewables includes securing a contract with German firm Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke, on behalf of Bard Engineering, to install and trench 80 cables at its North Sea wind farm.

The firm has the world's largest trenching and cable burying fleet.