HS2 contract set to bring new factory to Hartlepool

HS2 set for new Hartlepool factory. L-r, Lisa Molloy, STRABAG, HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson, Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen, and Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer.

A landmark HS2 contract is set to see a brand-new factory created on an old oil rig fabrication site in Hartlepool, creating over 100 new jobs for people in the surrounding area.

HS2’s main works civils contractor, Costain Skanska STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV), have awarded their second contract for the production of precast tunnel segments to STRABAG, who have announced they will be opening the facility in Hartlepool to fulfil the contract.

STRABAG will be providing 36,000 segments for the twin bored tunnels under London from HS2’s new Old Oak Common station to Green Parkway running underneath Northolt.

Located at Hartlepool Dock, 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.”

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley mayor, 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.”

The new factory’s well-connected location, both by rail and sea, means it is well placed to be utilised beyond HS2, working on domestic and international projects.

Ruth Todd, HS2’s chief commercial officer, 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.”

The new factory will be purpose built and will occupy an old oil rig fabrication site. Construction of the new factory will begin in January 2022 and the production of the precast concrete tunnel segments will commence 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.

Skanska Costain STRABAG joint ventures’ managing director James Richardson said: “STRABAG’s Hartlepool and PACADAR’s Kent facilities are both key to the delivery of the HS2 tunnels in London. Tunnel segment rings will be produced in Hartlepool and loaded on to freight trains and delivered by rail to our newly opened Logistics Hub at Willesden Junction. These huge tunnel segments, each weighing seven tonnes, will be then transported to the tunnel boring machine. This is a game-changer in how we move forward in the construction industry and is a significant step towards net zero carbon emissions in transport."

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. It allows us to deliver the segments to the HS2 logistics terminal near Willesden Junction efficiently whilst reducing the number of vehicles on the road and our environmental impact. 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.” 

This contract is the second of two for precast concrete tunnel segments for HS2’s London tunnels. The first contract, awarded earlier this summer, will see Pacadar UK deliver 58,000 segments for the first London tunnel being constructed between West Ruislip and Green Park Way, in Ealing. The combined length of HS2’s London tunnels being constructed by SCS JV is 26miles, the same length as Crossrail.

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