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Tunnel Segments Imported To Support Mine Construction

Local freight logistics specialists have been called in to import 1km of tunnel segments for Anglo American’s Woodsmith Project on the North Yorkshire Moors.

The team at AV Dawson’s Port of Middlesbrough worked with global logistics experts FH Bertling on this complex logistics challenge.

The Woodsmith Project, which was recently taken over by Anglo American, has been manufacturing tunnel segments in a purpose built plant at Wilton International in Redcar to build the 35km tunnel that will carry the mineral product from the Mine to the River Tees for export.

The rapid pace of construction has meant that segments have been required faster than they could be produced at the Wilton plant and so additional supply has been imported.

Andy Raine, deputy project director of Strabag said: “We calculated that we needed to import an extra 3,000 precast concrete segments to keep up with the rate the tunnel boring machine was building the tunnel. Importing these was a particularly complex logistical challenge not only due to the sheer number of segments required but also the weight of each segment.

“We knew we needed the specialist support that FH Bertling and AV Dawson could provide, so this project could be assessed from end-to-end and all creative solutions could be put on the table.  AV Dawson’s Port of Middlesbrough was the ideal port to import the cargo through, due to its location and AV Dawson’s specialist expertise in handling complex cargos.”

After a number of months of planning, the project team concluded that the most effective solution would be to transport the segments as a breakbulk cargo, with each stack individually lashed and secured to the floor of the vessel.  These stacks were then unloaded at Port of Middlesbrough with onward transport to the construction site provided by AV Dawson’s road transport team.

Gary Dawson, managing director of AV Dawson said: “Like many people in Teesside, we recognise that Woodsmith Project is a major opportunity for the local area and have therefore made ourselves available to support the teams behind the project since the start.

“Building the relationship early on has been really beneficial for all parties. Many businesses involve the logistics supply chain very late in the day and often this will result in missed opportunities to ensure the logistics is designed to be as efficient as possible.

“This particular element of the project has been in planning for around 12 months. We have worked in partnership with FH Bertling and Strabag to thoroughly assess a number of solutions for importing these reinforced concrete segments and transporting them over to site, and between us have developed a cost effective solution that protects the quality of the product.

“After a long planning process, it was fantastic to see the first of these four ships arrive and this part of the project become a reality.”

Paul Snowdon, Bertling UK said: “Bertling Logistics was awarded the project to deliver concrete segments from Sassnitz in Germany to the Anglo American Potash site in Wilton. Our Hamburg office time-chartered a coaster vessel over four round trips to deliver all the cargo safely. We selected AV Dawson’s Port of Middlesbrough as the discharge point as the team there demonstrated a real appetite to work with us, as well as providing a strategic location and flexibility to ensure high quality standards were maintained throughout the project cycle. Bertling Middlesbrough’s Heavy Logistics & Engineering office surveyed the discharge of all concrete sections maintaining HSE principles were observed throughout. AV Dawson then handled all concrete stacks on the quay and loaded eight trailers per day to Anglo American at Wilton without incident.  We worked within the time parameters and delivered a successful project together again, just as we did when we delivered the tunnel boring machine from Germany last year.”

Segments at Port of Middlesbrough

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Ideally positioned on the River Tees in North East England, Port of Middlesbrough provides full freight logistics across a number of sectors including energy and renewables, construction, agriculture, automotive and waste.
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