SHIPYARD bosses say they’ve got the message loud and clear – and have “learned a lesson” to not stay silent over their work plans.
The source of the loud, grinding noise coming from the Tyne had left people in Jarrow, Hebburn and parts of South Shields, baffled since last Thursday, with scores of readers contacting the Gazette in the hunt for answers.
Bosses at offshore engineering firm OGN Group have admitted that the noise is due to work they are carrying out on the EnQuest Producer, a 249-metre long Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, currently docked at their Wallsend yard.
The company has apologised for the inconvenience caused and admit they “could’ve handled the situation better”.
AN OGN spokesman explained: “As part of the commissioning works for the Enquest Producer FPSO, we will continue with commissioning of the boiler systems which includes steam blow-downs until March 5, between the hours of 9am and 6.30am.
“This is normal procedure for testing the boiler system at various pressures, followed by system blow down (depressurisation).
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We appreciate the situation could’ve been handled better.
“It is the first time OGN have undertaken a project like this.
“Lessons have been learned from this. If we have similar projects in the future we will make sure to communicate the details to residents ahead of work starting.”
Mary Finnigan, from Beverley Court, Jarrow, said the noise had caused “anxiety” among residents.
Mrs Finnigan said: “It reaches a crescendo and is quite frightening really.
“Many people have been looking to the skies. It sounds as though a plane suddenly flies over.
“It has caused some anxiety.”
Another resident Silke Gray, 47, from School Street, Hebburn, said she and her husband Andrew, 49, were forced to leave their own home on Saturday morning after the noise became too much to bear.
Mrs Gray, who wrote an e-mail of complaint to OGN, said: “This is unacceptable, the noise and time. Also my husband is a heart patient, which caused him great stress to his condition.
“We haven’t been pre-warned, nor have we been supplied with any protective health and safety equipment.
“We had to leave our house at 10am on Saturday as it caused us too much stress .
“I had a message from someone who said they could hear the noise in Washington.
“Our house is well insulated, and we can’t even hear a bus going past, but with this noise we can’t even have a conversation it is so loud.
“I am not against people having to do their job, but the noise is far too loud.”
OGN says regular updates will be placed on its website, www.ogn-group.com, regarding the ongoing work.