A new £6.5m steel store designed to support the North East’s automotive industry has been opened in Middlesbrough.
The new facility at multimodal specialist, AV Dawson’s Riverside Park HQ is believed to be the only rail-served, energy efficient automotive steel store of its type in the UK.
Family-run firm AV has invested in the 102,263 square foot store to allow steel producers to meet demand from the region’s automotive industry.
The facility is the third and final phase of the 77-year-old company’s £12.5m growth plans, which have been part-funded by £1.2m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
The plans, which have included building a new £2.6m intermodal rail terminal, Tees Riverside Intermodal Park (TRIP), and a new £3.4m deepwater quay, have created 62 jobs, bringing the total working for Dawson to over 240.
The store has a air handling dehumidification system to prevent condensation and ensure the steel is kept in best condition, with both heat and power being supplied by ground source heat pumps driven by solar panels.
The store, which is capable of providing storage for up to 58,000 tonnes of steel coil, also features a rail track running direct from Middlesbrough Goods Yard. More than 270,000 tonnes of steel per year will arrive by rail from Tata Steel in Port Talbot, South Wales before eventually heading by road to Sunderland-based car giant Nissan on the back of Dawson’s specialist steel coil carrying trailers.
Gary Dawson, managing director of AV Dawson, said: “We are very proud to open our new store today. This is the largest single investment in our 77-year history and it clearly shows the confidence that we have in the UK Steel industry and manufacturing in the North of England.
“The facility is conditioned to hold steel in pristine condition indefinitely, enhancing quality, driving efficiencies, and building confidence in the supply chain. The green credentials of this route are impressive, with steel moving by train from South Wales to Middlesbrough, before being held in our renewable energy powered store and final local area delivery using the most fuel efficient trucks.
“From breaking ground to receiving the first train was just 208 working days, which is a huge credit to everyone involved in the build, the management and operation of the store.
“Tata has cooperated with AV Dawson from start to finish ensuring a seamless transition on behalf of its customers. We now look forward to delivering the resulting benefits over many years to come.”