Tata Steel is to invest $7M at its Hartlepool, UK site to improve its welding and material handling capability.

The money will improve the welding capabilities of two of the company’s Hartlepool mills - the 42-inch submerged arc welding (SAW) mill and the 20-inch high frequency induction (HFI) mill - as well as improving both mills’ handling equipment.

Tata Steel’s 42-inch SAW mill can supply thick wall, small diameter line pipes used in deepwater environments by the oil and gas industry.

A new fifth welding line will increase the mill’s internal welding output by 25% and incorporates digital technology, which tata said would enhance accuracy and control of the welding process.

The 20-inch HFI mill produces tubular products for the structural, mechanical, process plant and energy markets. A new 1.8MW solid-state induction welder will also be installed at the mill.

The investment will also include new cranes, handling equipment and storage at both mills.