STEEL maker Corus has begun production of largediameter pipe at its Hartlepool mill.
The 215 mm-diameter steel pipe mill has been moved and upgraded from its Stockton works and will run alongside the higher-output 107 mmdiameter pipe mill.
The mill will focus on producing specialist pipe used in the construction of liquefied natural gas plants and offshore pipelines.
The move will increase the Hartlepool plant's yearly capacity to more than 500,000 tonnes.
Approximately 60 per cent of output at the mill is expected to be exported.