Christchurch: REIDsteel exports hangar to remote Africa

An aircraft hangar created in Dorset has been built 5,600 miles away in one of the remotest parts of Africa.

John Reid & Son (REIDsteel) designed, made and supplied the 140-tonne structure for a C130 Hercules aeroplane in Niger.

The Christchurch-based company worked on the project – including cladding and hangar doors – through main contractor CADG Engineering.

Niger, located on the edge of the Sahara in west Africa, was ranked bottom out of 189 countries in the United Nation’s 2018 Human Development Index and has a population of 22m.

REIDsteel has exported to more than 140 countries to date including structures for some of the most inaccessible places in the world.

Olivier Deza, REIDsteel bid manager, said: “Our experience in this type of project put us in pole position for this contract.

“We have worked in many parts of Africa although this was more challenging due to the country being landlocked.

“A local steel erection team was used in this case, which helps create employment locally and supports the local community.

“It all went very smoothly and all parties were very pleased with the successful outcome.”

The 2,500 sq m hangar is to house and maintain military aircraft. It features a tied barrel design and large outrigger frames to allow the doors to slide open across the full width of the hangar.

The entire building, inclusive of roof and wall cladding, was then packed into 40ft  shipping containers before being transported by sea to Africa and then driven inland to Niger and built near the capital Niamey – a total journey of more than 5,600 miles.

Ronnie Race, senior staff engineer at CADG, said: “We specialise in working in complex and remote parts of the world.

“REIDsteel were the perfect partner to deliver this exacting and ultimately very successful project in Niger.”

REIDsteel has designed and made bespoke hangars in such locations at Biggin Hill, Stansted, RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, the Channel Islands, Prestwick, Manchester and Bournemouth as well as Dubai, Mongolia, Chile, Malta, Nigeria and Mauritania.

It specialises in providing entire steel frame and building envelope solutions all under one roof.

Thanks to its in-house capabilities and expertise, it is regularly contracted to design, manufacture and supply complete steel structures including the cladding, glazing, louvres and staircases for projects anywhere in the UK, Europe and across the world.

They include bridges, hospitals, sports stadia, disaster resilient buildings, defensive structures, churches, schools, industrial & commercial buildings, warehouses and advanced aircraft hangars.