A STEEL firm has revealed £2m plans to build next generation offshore energy sector products – with its Hartlepool plant identified for the work.

Tata Steel says the move emphasises its commitment to supporting North Sea oil and gas production.

The plans come just days after bosses revealed they would pump £1m into its North-East base to continue work on high-strength tubing for construction and machinery and safeguard 270 jobs.

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The investment will be made in its Hartlepool base and follows confirmation last month that Tata had finalised a deal to sell parts of its North-East pipe mills business.

Liberty House Group has taken a section of the mills and previously told The Northern Echo that 140 jobs have been secured, with plans in place to deliver another 100 over the next 18 months across manufacturing and office roles.

Barry Rust, Tata's energy and sustainability manager, said: "These important investments demonstrate our continued commitment to health and safety and improving and increasing our product range to the North Sea and the oil and gas industry around the world, to help it meet ever- increasing challenges.

"We've been involved in some of the largest projects in the UK Continental Shelf over the last 20 years and look forward to supporting the North Sea and the international industry for many years to come."