APL's £5m contract to automate and fully integrate the control and telemetry system of floating production vessel The Crystal Ocean has been completed.

Tests in the North Sea have been successfully completed, and the vessel is now in full production.

The two-year contract was awarded to the engineering company, of Peterlee, east Durham, by Norwegian firm Brovig ASA.

The vessel needed to be re-engineered to suit its new application of recovering and processing oil from a sub-sea well in the North Sea, from its original application as a well-test vessel.

APL, which employs about 25 staff, beat strong European competition to bring the work to Peterlee, and shipyards on the Tees and the Tyne.

The managing director of APL, Roger Morris, said the company's high level of technical engineering skills, coupled with a strong project management team and focus on customer satisfaction, ensured that the job was an outstanding success.

Looking to the future, Mr Morris said: "I am quietly confident that APL will continue to go from strength to strength, despite the overall slowdown across the region in manufacturing."