AN 1,800-tonne boring machine which will be used to build a 23-mile tunnel from Teesside to Whitby arrived in the region at the weekend.

The tunnel will be capable of transporting up to 20 million tonnes of the fertiliser polyhalite from Sirius Minerals' new multi-billion pound mine near Whitby to a purpose-built processing and shipping facility in the shadows of the former Redcar steelworks.

From there the final product will be shipped to customers all around the world.

The main parts of the 225-metre-long machine arrived at AV Dawson’s Heavy Lift Port on the Teesside Docks on Friday morning after a seven-day journey across road, river and sea, from a specialist factory in western Germany.

The Northern Echo:

They then moved in convoy through Middlesbrough on Saturday morning, to the Sirius Minerals construction site at Wilton International, where the machine will be reassembled.

Children from primary schools across Redcar and Cleveland have been given the opportunity to enter a competition to name the machine.

The winning name will be unveiled when the machine starts tunnelling in the second quarter of the year.

The machine will bore the first of three separate tunnel holes.