A LANDMARK HS2 contract is set to see a brand-new factory created on an old oil rig fabrication site on Teesside, creating over 100 new jobs for people in the surrounding area.

HS2’s Main Works Civils Contractor, Costain Skanska STRABAG joint venture, have awarded their second contract for the production of precast tunnel segments to STRABAG, who have announced they will be opening the facility in Hartlepool to fulfil the contract.

STRABAG will be providing 36,000 segments for the twin bored tunnels under London from HS2’s new Old Oak Common station to Green Parkway running underneath Northolt.

Located at Hartlepool Dock, owned and operated by PD Ports, the new facility will employ more than 100 people, creating new skilled jobs in the area for the duration of the project.

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New jobs could also be created and sustained by the additional supply chain contracts that will be available to support the manufacture and supply of the tunnel segments.

The Northern Echo:  L-R Lisa Molloy, STRABAG, Andrew Stephenson HS2 Minister, Ben Houchen, and Jill Mortimer

HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson MP said: “This landmark contract to build a new factory in Hartlepool to manufacture items for HS2 shows building back better in action, giving new life to a vacant site and bringing over 100 new skilled jobs to the area.

“Companies across the North East are already benefitting from being part of HS2’s vast supply chain, with 400,000 supply chain contract opportunities expected on Phase One alone.”

The HS2 Minister visited the facility site in Hartlepool yesterday, Monday October 11 and was joined by Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, and Hartlepool MP, Jill Mortimer.

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, said: “I’m delighted STRABAG is investing in Hartlepool to build a state-of-the-art production facility to manufacture concrete tunnel segments.

“Not only is this significant investment going to create 100 skilled, well-paid jobs for local workers, it will also breathe new life into a vacant piece of land at PD Ports; bringing it back into productive use.

“This is just the latest investment in Teesside by STRABAG who have already created a significant number of jobs at their tunnel lining facility in Wilton for the Woodsmith Mine project.”

The Northern Echo: Supply Chain, Tunnels. SCS, HS2 Minster, STRABAG L-R , Ben Houchen, Mayor of Teeside, Jill Mortimer, MP for Hartlepool, Andrew Stephenson MP, HS2 Minister

The new factory’s well-connected location, both by rail and sea, means it is well placed to be utilised beyond HS2, working on domestic and international projects.

HS2’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ruth Todd, said: “The award of this contract is another important milestone towards the start of HS2’s tunnelling operations in London. The decision to manufacture the segments not only in the UK, but in a new facility in the North East, is another demonstration of how HS2 is having a positive impact on regional economies across the UK and helping the country to build back better after the pandemic.”

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The new factory will be purpose-built and will occupy an old oil rig fabrication site.

Construction of the new factory will begin in January 2022 and the production of the precast concrete tunnel segments will commence in December 2022.

All 36,000 tunnel segments will be transported from the Hartlepool factory entirely by rail, with the first freight train delivery arriving in April 2023.

The segments will be used to construct the tunnels and will be installed using two giant tunnel boring machines.

100,000m3 of concrete will be used to construct the segments which will be 8.8m outside diameter, 0.35m thick and will weigh six tonnes each.

The contract for the lease at the site will be signed for several years demonstrating STRABAG’s long-term commitment to manufacturing in the North East.

The Northern Echo: Supply Chain, Tunnels. SCS, HS2 Minster, STRABAG L-R , Ben Houchen, Mayor of Teeside, Jill Mortimer, MP for Hartlepool, Andrew Stephenson MP, HS2 Minister

Construction work to the existing site will start by redeveloping the exterior land parcel to suit the segment storage requirements and rail logistics platform, then focus will turn to the internal fit-out which will house a state of the art automated segment carousel and reinforcement hall.

Robots will also be controlled by telemetry to produce the high-quality reinforcement cages required for each segment.

STRABAG joins a growing list of businesses with facilities at Hartlepool Dock.

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