French car parts manufacturer SNOP is to take delivery of a 3,000 tonne transfer press capable of stamping ultra-high strength steels at Port of Sunderland. It will take about three months to assemble and commission the press, which stands in a 9m deep pit at SNOP's 235,000 sq ft facility.
SNOP UK plant director, David Brander, said the arrival of the press would mark a significant milestone in the development of the facility, with the final fit-out due to happen following the handover of keys in June.
He said: "The move to IAMP is strategically important for SNOP UK. For some time, our current facility has limited our capacity, and in moving to a new base, we can maximise our potential with space for expansion.
"The press is a key component of the facility, so today’s delivery of it really does represent the ‘start of the end’ of work on our new factory and we look forward to putting it to use over the coming months and years as we settle into our fantastic new space."
Sunderland City Council chief executive Patrick Melia added: "SNOP is a fantastic business and it’s excellent news for the region that it is affirming its commitment to the area by investing so heavily in new machinery to be housed in its new facility.
"What is even more encouraging for us as a city is the fact that – even before the first factory opens its doors at IAMP – Port of Sunderland is reaping the benefits as the gateway to the area for this giant press."