The world’s heaviest load of cargo has arrived in Hartlepool.
The 24,200-tonne Brent Delta Topside was transported to Able UK’s Able Seaton Port, off Tees Road, yesterday.
The largest-ever oil rig demolition project is now set to get under way at what is Europe’s strongest quayside, which has been specially created by Able UK.
The oil rig’s arrival into Hartlepool was quite some sight, with the 130m-high structure being delivered on the ship Pioneering Spirit, which is the length of six jumbo jets.
It will now be handled by workers at the Hartlepool yard as it is decommissioned.
About 50 jobs will be created, along with two apprenticeships, as Able UK sets about dismantling and recycling the rig.
Peter Stephenson, executive chairman of Able UK, said: “The arrival of the topside went perfectly well.
“A lot of planning went into it – about five years of it, in terms of the design and construction work – so it was extremely pleasing to see it go off without a hitch.
“It’s a huge structure, and an impressive sight.
“It’s also excellent news for Hartlepool, because jobs will be created and everything structurally built here will be here for the next 50 to 100 years. The benefits of this will be felt for decades to come.”
The build of the quayside created 100 jobs at the Hartlepool yard.
Now the rig is in place, work will begin on dismantling the enormous structure.
More than 97% of the material from it will be reused or recycled, creating another 100 jobs for that process.
Although the dismantling of the Delta rig is not the first in the UK, it is believed to be the biggest.
Last night, the Mail recorded its arrival in Hartlepool, and the broadcast was watched by more than 50,000 people.
Many of them told of their awe at the structure.
Allison McLean posted:” Well done to the guys manoeuvring that awesome piece of engineering.”
Wendy Maxwell added: “It was amazing to watch.”
Ozzy Gold Tray Osborne wrote: “People who are saying no Hartlepool lads will be working on it – well me, my brother and our mate are starting next week.
“So, yes, there will be Hartlepool lads on there.
“Able are one of Hartlepool’s biggest employers.”