100-plus Hartlepool jobs on the way in new factory making HS2 tunnel sections
A new factory will create more than 100 skilled jobs after the award of a landmark contract in connection with the country’s HS2 high speed rail line.
The new facility is to be created on an old oil rig fabrication site at PD Ports Hartlepool site to manufacture thousands of precast concrete segments for tunnels in London.
HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson along with Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen hailed the news on a visit to the site on Monday, October 11.
Construction company Strabag has been awarded the contract and will build the new Hartlepool factory which will turn out 36,000 tunnel segment rings.
HS2 is the country’s new high speed railway linking up London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland.
Mr 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.”
He took a tour of the Hartlepool site and unveiled a banner marking the role it will play in the project.
Project bosses say more jobs are expected to be created in the supply chain.
And the site’s rail and sea links means the factory is well placed to be used beyond HS2 for other domestic and international projects.
Construction of the new factory is due to start in January 2022 and the production of the tunnel segments will start in December of that year.
All 36,000 tunnel segments will be transported from the Hartlepool factory entirely by rail.
A total of 100,000 cubic metres of concrete will be used in their manufacture which will measure almost 30ft wide and weight six tonnes each.
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.
"We are eager to start production and welcome our new employees to the team.”
Strabag joins a growing list of businesses with manufacturing facilities at Hartlepool Dock.
Frans Calje, PD Ports chief executive, said: “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.”
Ruth Todd, HS2’s chief commercial officer, added: “The award of this contract to manufacture the precast concrete tunnel segments is another important milestone towards the start of HS2’s tunneling 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 way HS2 is having a positive impact on regional economies across the UK and helping us build back better after the pandemic.”