Andrew Wyllie visited a polyhalite mine as part of his tour of the region.
ICE President Andrew Wyllie has described the Sirius Minerals polyhalite mine as a “fantastic example of UK engineering at its best”.
He was in the North East to find out about emerging engineering projects in the region and to recognise some of its recent achievements.
Wyllie visited the Wilton site to see progress on developing the tunnel boring machine that will be used to build the 37km underground tunnel for transporting polyhalite ore from the mine near Whitby to Teesport.
“This is a hugely important project for the North East of England and it’s great to see so much involvement from the local community, this is going to be such a boost for the local economy,” he said.
“The scale of the project is extraordinary. There are not many projects in Europe bigger than this. It’s not just the scale of the project which is important but the thought that’s gone into it, too. All the elements of engineering are coming together for this statement project.”
A spokesperson for Sirius Minerals said: “We’re proud of the innovative, low-impact sustainable design of our project, as well as the jobs and economic benefits that it is bringing to the area.”
Meanwhile, Penny Marshall, Regional Director for ICE North East, added: “We saw first-hand the potential of civil engineering making possible what, in the recent past, would have seemed like a pipedream.”
Wyllie also visited Teesside University on his tour, where he spoke to staff, postgraduates and young academics about the future of civil engineering.