Sirius Minerals signs deal for port scheme that will help to regenerate steelworks area

The Sirius Minerals'  Woodsmith site near Whitby
The Sirius Minerals' Woodsmith site near Whitby
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SIRIUS Minerals, the company behind a giant mine in North Yorkshire, has agreed a multi-million pound contract that will help to regenerate a former steelworks area.

Sirius Minerals’ giant polyhalite Woodsmith Mine, near Whitby, is a £3.2bn capital investment project which is expected to generate £100bn for the UK economy over the next 50 years. Apart from creating 1,000, long-term, skilled jobs, the project is also set to support 1,500 supply chain jobs

Sirius has announced that its subsidiary, York Potash Processing and Ports Ltd, and McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd have entered into an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the development of a port handling facility.

McLaughlin & Harvey will build storage facilities for around 250,000 tonnes of product, ship loading equipment, and a product screening facility, beside the Redcar Bulk Terminal in Teesside.

The port facilities will receive the company’s polyhalite fertilizer after it has been transported from the Woodsmith mine site, through the 23 mile underground mineral transport system and processed into the finished product at the Wilton Materials Handling Facility.

Ben Houchen, the Mayor of the Tees Valley, said: “I am delighted to see yet another step forward for Sirius Minerals’ nationally significant project.

“The level of commitment to Teesside from this project is huge as it will continue to generate jobs for local people and help expand our global reputation.

“The successful development of the Sirius project will see over £400 million invested in Teesside and will importantly see the regeneration of the former Redcar steelworks port frontage.

“We expect many more regeneration projects will be announced on the South Tees Development Corporation site very soon.”

Chris Fraser, the managing director and chief executive of Sirius, said: “In 18 months, since the start of construction, we have made great progress and are now nearing the completion of the procurement programme to support our stage 2 financing process.

“The construction of our port infrastructure is another example of the level of investment and skilled job creation we are delivering in both Teesside and the UK as we develop a project that has the potential to make the UK a world leader in the fertilizer industry.”

At peak production the company expects to export 20 million tonnes per year of POLY4 to markets all over the world.

Offtake agreements have already been signed with customers on four continents for 8.2 million tonnes per year in peak aggregate volumes of POLY4.

McLaughlin & Harvey, which was founded more than 100 years ago, is a specialist designer and builder of ports.

Polyhalite is a multi-nutrient fertilizer, which can be used to increase balanced fertilization around the world.

Sirius Minerals’ shares are traded on the Premium List of the London Stock Exchange.

Sirius also aims to provide a long-term boost for North Yorkshire’s economy by encouraging more pupils to focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at school.

Gareth Edmunds, the company’s external affairs director, said: “We have a big focus on STEM and on trying to help enrich the curriculum in schools and colleges throughout the area.

He added: “We do that to benefit all of the businesses in the area.”