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171ft high silo to be built on Hull’s William Wright Dock

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Leading design and build contractors Spencer Group and specialist contractor Slipform Engineering are delivering a huge new cement handling facility to meet soaring construction industry demand.

The 52m (171ft) high silo is being built on Hull’s William Wright Dock amid a construction boom across the UK, which has led to bulk powder import and transport specialist Damac Group requiring greater cement handling capacity. 

Spencer Group and Slipform Engineering were selected by Damac Group to carry out the project following the successful delivery of a similar, 46m (151ft) high facility to expand the company’s operations at the Port of Goole, in East Yorkshire.

The 52m (171ft) high silo is being built amid a construction boom across the UK, which has led to Damac Group requiring greater cement handling capacity.

The two companies have also worked together to deliver a 50m (164ft) high biomass fuel storage silo at King George Dock, in Hull, to store and transport wooden pellets for Drax Power Station, in North Yorkshire, as well as collaborating on similar storage facilities for other power suppliers.

The main structure, which is almost at high as Hull Royal Infirmary, has been built using Slipform Engineering’s innovative slip forming techniques, meaning the construction of the silo walls from ground level to the 52m peak took just 10 days. 

Slip forming is a method of construction in which concrete is moved into a continuously moving form, used specifically for tall buildings whilst also being the construction method utilised to construct the Humber Bridge towers in 1976. 

Richard Green-Morgan, Off Site Construction Director, is leading the project for Spencer Group. He said: “We’re delighted to be carrying out another important silo project for Damac Group, a client we’ve worked with for a number of years. 

“Spencer Group and Slipform Engineering collectively have all the required in-house design and construction capabilities to deliver an outstanding facility, which will meet all of Damac’s requirements, quickly, safely, and to the highest possible standards.”

The quayside silo will have a 6,000m3 capacity. The imported cement powder will be received from ships at William Wright Dock directly into the silo, where it will be handled by Damac Group, who will then distribute it using their fleet of specialist bulk powder tankers for construction works across the UK.

A mechanical handling system is being undertaken by Silo Services Ltd, which will be used to transfer the cement onto trucks in a loading bay directly beneath the silo, which will stand on stilts. 

Eamon Hanley, Managing Director of Slipform Engineering, said: “Our specialist techniques are perfect for a project of this nature and it’s a pleasure to once again be working collaboratively with our colleagues at Spencer Group on behalf of a long-standing client.

The site of the new cement handling silo on William Wright Dock, ahead of the specialist slip forming construction.

“We had to carry out the slip forming construction 24/7, as it was crucial the product didn’t get wet, and that’s why our unique expertise, technologies and experience have been so important.”

The UK construction industry is currently booming due to increased demand for housing and commercial properties, meaning additional capacity is needed for imported materials, and the new facility forms an integral part of Damac’s ongoing expansion and plans for continued growth.

Managing Director Cathy Plaskitt said: “The UK construction industry is buoyant, increasing the demand for bulk powder cement.

“This increase in demand means we need to import more from abroad and the new silo, in a highly accessible location with good motorway access, will be vital for our capacity to meet demand.

“Having worked with Spencer Group and Slipform Engineering previously, we know they have the required knowledge, skills and capabilities to deliver the project to the standards we require.”

Hull-based Spencer Group delivers innovative engineering and construction solutions in the materials handling, transport, infrastructure, energy and industrial sectors, from design through to construction.

Damac Group, comprising Sextant Shipping Limited, Damac Bulk Handling Limited and Damac Transporters Limited, has over 40 years’ experience in the complete logistical process of importing cementitious and bulk powder products into the UK; receiving and handling in purpose built bulk powder terminals and then onward distribution using its fleet of specialist bulk powder tankers. 

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