Pump module to CERN in Switzerland

The offshore industry's documentable quality and focus on safety are very much competencies in demand outside the energy sector – a point just proven by CERN; the world's largest physics laboratory.

Based on a tender process, CERN selected NorSea Denmark's Steel & Paint department – recently acquired by SubC Partner – as a supplier to manufacture a pump module to be operated in the 27-kilometer-long particle accelerator, CERN operates deep under the Jura Mountains at the border between France and Switzerland. 

Following this positive experience, CERN will soon launch the competitive process to procure a total of 15 similar pump units to reduce its environmental footprint by switching from PFC gases to CO2 cooling.

“The energy sector works every day with requirements for quality, documentation, traceability and safety that few other industries can match. It gives us a competitive advantage in other sectors," says CEO Tonny Klein, SubC Partner:

“We are pleased to take over the project from NorSea, with who we have a good strategic collaboration. I am confident that under the auspices of SubC Partner we can deliver the same, high standard and even offer a stronger technical foundation," he says.

A shared security ambition

The agreement between CERN and the Danish energy company came about with the help of the Danish Technological Institute's Big Science initiative, which has the task of being a link between Danish industry and the major European research infrastructures. The big science market offers good opportunities for the construction of both ordinary and high-tech components, as well as operational tasks. 

When CERN made the initial inquiry, senior consultant Henrik Bak Jeppesen found it obvious to present CERN to several qualified suppliers from the energy sector:

“We thought looking for a supplier among energy companies as a good idea. They are used to living up to high standards, also standards exceeding what CERN actually requires ", says Henrik Bak Jeppesen:

“CERN shares ambitions for safety and quality with the energy sector. If you can deliver and document a good product and safety culture, then CERN is interested,” he says.

Good partnership

The first module has just been delivered from SubC Partner in Esbjerg, where representatives from CERN and the Danish Technological Institute visited and inspected prior to delivery.

"Experience and track record as well as a professional setup and detailed quality plan made us feel safe from the beginning," says Paolo Petagna, Project Leader, Experimental Physics Department at CERN:

“Along the way, the ongoing communication has been good and thorough, which has also contributed to us being confident in the process and quality. We have experienced flexibility, openness and transparency about challenges and a good dialogue about solving them. The project is a partnership," he says.

When it comes to SubC, they would like to work more for CERN and other high-profile players:

“The standards we work with in the offshore industry, and which we have become accustomed to and take for granted, are far above what is seen in other industries. What we work with is precisely to provide engineering services, project management as well as fabrication and testing of complicated tasks,” says Tonny Klein.