A MASSIVE £100m-plus contract for Hartlepool was today hailed as a shot-in-the-arm for the town economy.
The champagne corks were popping after Tata Steel won the mega-deal to provide 214 miles of pipe for the Gulf of Mexico.
The huge boost is the second in just days to be secured by the mill and even though it will not mean new jobs, it will protect the 700-strong workforce.
Today dignitaries welcomed the boost for Tata’s 42-inch mill where half of all the workers are based.
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Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: “It is extremely good news, especially in the current climate. Job protection is as important as job creation and it shows a confidence in Hartlepool and in Tata Steel.”
The steel deal, announced yesterday, came on the same day that 40 jobs were announced by two companies – Omega Plastics and Propipe – moving in to the Hartlepool section of the newly-created Tees Valley Enterprise Zone at Queens Meadow.
Mayor Drummond said: “The enterprise zone is starting to come to fruition and we are building up a head of steam.”
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright said Tata Steel’s announcement was “great news”.
“It confirms the quality of the product that the mill offers,” he added.
“Tata Steel are selling their goods around the world and it is pleasing that the nature of the goods and services provided means we can provide employment opportunities and export capabilities as well.”
John Megson, the co-ordinator of the Hartlepool Business Forum, welcomed the £100m boost as “excellent news”.
He added: “It is a massive order which keeps local people employed.”
Stephen Catchpole, managing director of the regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “This is fantastic news for Tata Steel and Tees Valley, and of course a real testament to the assets and technically demanding skills base available in Hartlepool.”
The Tata Steel deal will provide 214 miles of 20-inch diameter arc welded pipe for the Discovery Producer Services LLC (Discovery) gas pipeline in Keathley Canyon, Gulf of Mexico.
The pipe will be manufactured at Tata’s 42-inch mill and delivered to the site in the USA in the second half of this year.
The new contract comes soon after the company announced it had secured an order to supply 48,000 tonnes of steel pipe for an oil pipeline for the Lucius Development Project, also in the Gulf of Mexico.
Deirdre Fox, director of sales and marketing at Tata Steel, said the deal proved the company’s success in delivering line pipe for deep water conditions.
Andy Hill, manager of Tata Steel’s 42-inch pipe mill in Hartlepool, said: “These two major contracts confirm the leading position of Tata Steel’s Teesside pipemaking facilities as a supplier of technically demanding deepwater linepipe.”
Tata Steel has three pipe and tube mills at its Hartlepool site, where it employs more than 700 people.