A Hull business has completed a multi-million pound project to create the biggest galvanizing bath in Yorkshire.
Humber Galvanizing has increased capacity by as much as 50 per cent thanks to a major expansion that also includes the installation of other new tanks and a substantial extension of its yard.
The company’s new-look site, at Citadel Way, will be officially opened by Karl Turner, MP for East Hull, next month.
General manager Richard Speake said: “This is a major investment that will have a significant impact on the business.
“It will increase both the number and size of the jobs we’re able to do and that extra capacity will also boost our turnover.
“It’s a project that will give us the infrastructure we need to ensure we’re 'Fit for the Future' and the kind of platform from which we can grow even stronger.”
Expansion of the site, including the yard extension completed six months before, included major groundwork to extend an existing pit for the new main bath, which measures 7.5m long, 1.2m wide and 2.7m deep.
Mr Speake added: “Our old bath wasn’t always big enough for some of the work that customers wanted and we’d have to send projects to one of our sister plants within the group.
“Now we have the size of bath that can cope with much longer lengths of steel and that will have fantastic implications for us moving forward.
“We’ve been at this site for 22 years and never up scaled before so we’ve moved with the times and it’s an historic moment for us. It is also a commitment to the future of the business.”
The plant has also invested in two new ‘triple acid’ baths and made a string of changes in support of its commitment to health and safety.
The creation of a new exit to the rear of the site has paved the way for the establishment of a one-way system to improve the drop-off and collection process – enhancing safety for both yard staff and visitors – while dedicated loading bays will ensure the transport operation runs smoothly.
Upgraded handling equipment, together with the introduction of an innovative transfer system and new forklift trucks, will increase safety within the site too, while the plant has also reinforced its commitment to sustainability.
A state-of-the-art digital furnace will improve efficiency and reliability – and lead to predicted maintenance procedures – while a heat exchanger will harness heat that was previously lost, enabling it to be used elsewhere in the process.
Hull was the UK's City of Culture for 2017, an initiative supported by Humber Galvanizing and which has prompted major investment in the area.
Mr Speake added: “A number of major renewable energy firms have built new plants here this year as part of the ‘Green Port’ campaign linked to City of Culture status.
“It encourages businesses to invest in the region and that’s something that will hopefully have benefits for us too.
“Our expansion gives us the ability and capacity to work closely with these companies and that’s an exciting prospect for everybody.”