A MULTI-MILLION pound deal to build a major port handling facility in the North-East has been agreed.

Sirius Minerals - the company behind the £3.2bn York Potash mine - announced on Monday that it has selected Northern Irish firm McLaughlin & Harvey for the project.

The deal covers the design and build of the port handling facilities, which will receive the polyhalite fertilizer produced from the Woodsmith mine, south of Whitby.

The Northern Echo:

This includes storage for around 250,000 tonnes of product, ship loading equipment and the final product screening facility.

Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius, said: “In 18 months, since the start of construction, we have made great progress and are now nearing the completion of the procurement programme to support our stage 2 financing process.

"The construction of our port infrastructure is another example of the level of investment and skilled job creation we are delivering in both Teesside and the UK as we develop a project that has the potential to make the UK a world leader in the fertilizer industry.”

The Northern Echo:

Ben Houchen, Mayor of the Tees Valley, comments: “I am delighted to see yet another step forward for Sirius Minerals’ nationally significant project. 

"The level of commitment to Teesside from this project is huge as it will continue to generate jobs for local people and help expand our global reputation.  

"The successful development of the Sirius project will see over £400m invested in Teesside and will importantly see the regeneration of the former Redcar steelworks port frontage. 

"We expect many more regeneration projects will be announced on the South Tees Development Corporation site very soon.”