3rd January 2023

A Year of Change and the Promise of Much More: What’s Come Down and What’s Going Up at Teesworks

The past 12 months have seen vast changes and significant progress made at Teesworks, as work continues on the transformation of the site from former steelworks to major industrial development, and a crucial part of the Teesside Freeport.

More than two million tonnes of materials have been excavated, huge former steelmaking structures have been demolished, major infrastructure projects are well underway, and hundreds of jobs have been brought to the massive Teesworks site.

Now 2023 beckons. Here, we take a look at what’s been achieved this year and what’s coming up next year at Teesworks.


More than 300 people have been involved in bringing down no fewer than 150 structures across the site, as the £125million programme for demolition is accelerated to achieve completion within two years of it commencing – a phenomenal achievement.

The £25million BOS Plant demolition saw 35 structures brought down, culminating, in October, in one of the biggest demolitions the UK has ever seen – with 1.6 tonnes of explosives used to demolish the main BOS Plant structure.

The Sinter Plant was also razed to the ground along with its extensive array of conveyors, at 250m long, and its 90-metre tall chimney. It was fitting that former Sinter plant workers had the opportunity to take part in the demolition activities, with both Mark Colley and Kevin McElvaney getting to push the button on two of the main explosive demolitions on the facility.

The year also saw extensive demolition activities at Redcar Coke Ovens, including the explosive demolition of two chimneys and, nearby, the PCI Plant was also brought down.

At South Bank, the Coke Ovens By-Products plant was successfully decontaminated and demolished, involving 40 separate assets, and including the blowdown of the South Bank gas holder.

And November saw a day of mixed emotions as months of preparatory work on the £15million Redcar Blast Furnace demolition project, by Thompsons of Prudhoe, culminated in the blowdown of the iconic furnace structure.

No fewer than 2.5 tonnes of explosives have been used across the various major demolitions undertaken on Teesworks – the same weight as more than five Grand Pianos – and a quarter of a million tonnes of scrap metals have been processed to date; with the metals sold to market via a competitive bidding process to ensure best value is achieved.

The demolition programme is now 85% complete and is scheduled to conclude by the end of Quarter two in 2023.

What’s gone up?

The vital £100M South Bank Quay Phase 1 project is progressing well and is already around 60% complete. The project will create a new, 450-metre long deep water port facility for use by the offshore wind industry and a growing number of other businesses and enterprises requiring river access. The main quay wall is complete, and the project will achieve overall completion by October 2023.

Meanwhile, the £2.5million Teesworks Skills Academy is now up and running as a one stop shop for jobseekers, local employment hubs and skills providers to use as a platform to create a world-class workforce for the future; crucial to the sustained economic regeneration of the area.

Nearby, 2022 also saw the £6.5million Eston Road Highway Scheme completed – unlocking vital access to Dorman Point, where there are 140 acres of developable land available, the size of more than 90 football pitches.

The huge £450million SeAH Wind monopile manufacturing facility also began construction in the summer, which, once complete, will create 750 direct jobs and 1,500 indirect jobs in the supply chain. A huge ground piling operation is already underway on SeAH. More than 6,100 piles need to be installed and each pile can be up to 1m in diameter. Some piles go as deep as 35m – and several hundred have already been constructed. The first concrete manufacturing plant has now started production on the development, with the second due to be operational in January 2023. Each plant is set to produce 120 cubic metres of concrete every hour, for 10 hours a day, to meet the site’s insatiable need for construction materials. For scale, a normal concrete mixer truck holds just 6-8 cubic metres.

But the developments and new infrastructure can’t happen without the ground having first been remediated.

A mammoth 2.1million tonnes of material has been excavated and processed for re-use in 2022, as part of extensive site remediation operations on Teesworks, as work continues to create the development platforms that will house new industrial uses and realise the thousands of new jobs these will bring. Remediation works have been completed on no fewer than 160 acres of land across 2022, with £25million expended. This has seen land made billiard-table flat and primed for investors.

Overall, the Teesworks site has seen between 850 and 1,000 people employed in 2022 in the delivery of a wide array of construction projects, from construction managers and construction operatives to technical and other professional services consultants, working across projects ranging from demolition, decontamination and remediation, to roads, ports, utilities and buildings.

What’s coming up?

An exciting 2023 now beckons, with many projects being started and completed.

Along with South Bank Quay, that is scheduled to complete in October, the vital, one-mile long South Bank Link Road, providing access to the 500-acre South Bank site, that includes SeAH Wind, will also be complete in August.

A major watercourse network to cope with the vast run-off from SeAH’s development and other developments on South Bank has already commenced and will be complete by the end of 2023. With the first phase underway, a second phase of the scheme will commence in April 2023, which will include the creation of an intertidal habitat.

On Dorman Point, construction of further highways and utilities infrastructure, and further remediation works, are likely to be in the plans for next year. While at the Redcar end of the site, remediation of the 100-acre Net Zero Teesside site will commence in Q1, and work will continue on the development of the Park and Ride facility at Steel House – with the 35-acre site and its parking for more than 1,500 vehicles aiming to be fully ready by the middle of 2024.

Major high voltage electrical infrastructure will also be upgraded across Teesworks, commencing in 2023.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s been a year of huge change and progress at Teesworks – with the promise of even more to come in 2023. Our demolition programme has been one of the largest and most complex the UK has ever seen – with all major former steelworks’ assets now down. When complete, it will be done almost two years ahead of schedule.

“Not only that, 2022 has seen the mammoth SeAH Wind facility begin to take shape, our vital South Bank Quay project come together, and lifeline roads and routes around the site installed. Next year promises exciting projects coming to fruition and more good quality, well paid jobs for the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”

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