Finance

Major HS2 contract triggers new North East factory and 100 jobs

A lucrative HS2 contract will trigger the creation of a new North East factory and more than 100 new jobs.

HS2’s main civils contractor, the joint venture Costain Skanska Strabag, has awarded its second contract for precast tunnel segments to Strabag, which will open a facility in Hartlepool to fulfil the contract.

The new factory is set to be constructed on an old oil rig fabrication site in Hartlepool, which will provide 36,000 segments for the twin bored tunnels under London, from HS2’s new Old Oak Common station to Green Parkway running underneath Northolt.

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Based at Hartlepool Dock, which is owned and operated by PD Ports, the new facility will employ over 100 people, creating new skilled jobs in the area for the duration of the project.

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.

HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson 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 benefiting 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 and was joined by Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen and Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer.

Mr Houchen 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.

HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson MP with Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen and Hartlepool MP, Jill Mortimer.

“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 new factory’s location means it is well placed to be used 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.”

Construction of the new factory will start in January, with production of the precast concrete tunnel segments starting 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 at the Willesden Euro terminal logistics hub in April 2023. The segments will be used to construct the tunnels, and will be installed using two giant tunnel boring machines.

The contract for the lease at the site in Hartlepool will be signed for several years, which Strabag said demonstrates its long-term commitment to manufacturing in the North East.

Andrew Dixon, commercial director at Strabag said: “We are excited to be producing HS2’s tunnel segments here in Hartlepool with its excellent rail and port infrastructure.

“This new production facility in Hartlepool and our existing precast factory in Wilton for the Woodsmith Mine project underline our long-term commitment to the region: as a result, another 100 skilled jobs will be created for the local community and many more through our supply chain. We are eager to start production and welcome our new employees to the team.”

Strabag joins a list of businesses with manufacturing facilities at Hartlepool Dock.

PD Ports CEO, Frans Calje, added: “After more than 18 months’ worth of discussions, we’re absolutely delighted to welcome Strabag to Hartlepool Dock as the base for its new manufacturing facility to supply concrete tunnel rings to the HS2 development.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with Strabag as they play an integral part in the HS2 development, which, when delivered, will be an enabler for opening up the national rail network and increasing opportunities for freight movements trans-pennine, something PD Ports, alongside industry partners, has lobbied hard for with central government for a number of years.”

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