FIVE massive loads provided a slow-moving spectacle when they were hauled out of a Hartlepool dock.
Four giant 250 tonne vessels called slug catchers each measuring 110ft in length made their steady progress from the Able UK site at 8pm yesterday.
The units are made of four inch-thick steel and were being shifted from Able to the Teesside Gas Processing Plant at Seal Sands where the next stage of the massive move was taking place today.
Joining them in the convoy with a difference was a 60ft long unit called a phase separator weighing 50 tonnes.
After their arrival at Seal Sands, all five giant structures due to be lifted into place at the processing plant by a 1,200 tonne crane.
They will become part of a £450m project to bring new gas supplies to the UK from the Breagh gas field which is found in the North Sea 60 miles from Teesside.
Breagh is one of the largest gas discoveries in recent years and the project to bring supplies to the Tees Valley has included building a new offshore platform and pipeline.
Gas will be brought ashore at Coatham Sands, in Redcar,
and then piped via a new onshore pipeline to the Teesside Gas Processing Plant at Seal Sands.
The plant is capable of processing up to 800m cubic ft of gas a day and the first gas from the new project is expected to land in mid 2012.
Andy Heppel, chief executive with Teesside Gas Processing Plant, said: “We look forward to working with the Breagh owners to develop this significant North Sea gas discovery.”
He described the project as “very exciting for our company as it connects this new and undeveloped area of the North Sea to Teesside”.
He said it would reinforce Teesside’s position as a “key strategic hub in the UK’s gas and hydrocarbon network.”