A MARINE firm has bought the UK's largest harbour crane, which bosses say will create 40 North-East jobs.

Able UK, which operates Seaton Port at the mouth of the River Tees, near Middlesbrough, says the Liebherr crane will allow it to handle increased work in the oil and gas and offshore renewable sectors.

The Northern Echo:

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Bosses say the equipment, capable of lifting 208 tonnes, is the first part of a machinery upgrade and will be used to maintain oil and gas drilling rigs.

The company added it will help attract new work to Seaton Port and further boost plans for a new quay, which could create up to 100 further jobs.

Andrew Jacques, Able UK's managing director, said: “This crane underlines our commitment to providing the best possible service for customers.

“It will attract more business to Seaton Port and the Tees, complimenting the construction of new quays at Seaton Port.”

The move comes after Able secured a contract to dispose of North Sea offshore platforms from the Shell operated Brent Field, which it believes could create another 100 posts.