A major £1.5million study has begun to investigate the bed of the River Tees just days after Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen announced plans for a state-of-the-art £90million quay at Teesworks.
Two vessels are now gathering information on the riverbed and the geology of a 3,000m section of the Tees, which will be used to back proposals for the heavy-lift quay and the dredging works needed to help develop the region into the UK’s premier offshore wind location.
The quay facility will transform 1km of the riverside at South Bank giving global companies direct access from the Teesworks site, the UK’s largest industrial zone, to the biggest wind farms across the world.
The proposed new South Bank Quay forms part of the wider 4.5m sq. ft. of advanced manufacturing and industrial space planned on 450 acres of land next to the wharf. Construction on the facility is set to begin in summer 2021 and will create up to 100 jobs during construction through an investment of more than £120million.
Fugro, the world’s largest geo-data specialists, are carrying out the work. The firm, which has offices in the North-East, collect and analyse comprehensive information about the earth and the structures built upon it.
To help them do that, Haven Seariser 2, a 30-metre long jack-up barge and its support tug MTS Viking, are currently at the river, drilling 14metre boreholes to carry out the geotechnical survey.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It was only days ago that we unveiled plans for this new £90million quay, and we are already getting on with the work to make it a reality.
“These investigations will enable us to quickly prepare the relevant planning and design proposals and get to work on an area of land which is in such a unique location and has so much potential to help us transform the whole of the Teesworks site into a global logistics and manufacturing centre creating thousands of well paid jobs for local people.
“Teesside is already leading the way for the rest of the UK to follow with our clean energy plans, but this takes us to the next stage. We’ve already announced plans to manufacture offshore wind turbines in the new 4.5million sq ft of state-of-the-art space we are building, and this new heavy lifting quay will give ships and international firms easy access to be able to transport not only these turbines, but also all the other exciting projects and businesses that will be located on site.
“Projects like these are bringing new life, new investment and skilled new jobs for people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. Activity across the whole Teesworks site is gaining real momentum with contracts going to local firms employing local people. We have more than 557 people now employed across the area with many more jobs to come.”