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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 April, 2004, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Eurotunnel drill sold for scrap
Scrap dealer Tony Wilkinson celebrates buying the tunnel drill
Tony Wilkinson celebrated his purchase with a photo call
The buyer of a huge drill used to build the Channel Tunnel has said he plans to cut it up for scrap metal.

The 580-tonne boring machine was sold by Eurotunnel on internet auction site eBay, with the sale closing on Monday.

Eurotunnel described it as "a prized relic from the greatest construction achievement of the 20th century" which would be of interest to museums.

But buyer Tony Wilkinson, a scrap merchant from Kent, said he planned to cut the drill into 5 ft x 2 ft pieces.

Deal was off

The drill attracted bids of up to 10m when the auction began last week, but these were found to be hoaxes and eBay put a vetting system in place to eliminate anyone not pre-approved as a bidder.

Mr Wilkinson, who runs the firm Reclamet Recycling in Thanet, was outbid for the drill by a buyer using the name steddenm, with a bid of 39,999.

Scrap dealer Tony Wilkinson
It will leave this area in 5 ft x 2 ft pieces and it will end up in the steelworks
Scrap dealer Tony Wilkinson

But Eurotunnel said they had received an e-mail from steddenm saying he had discovered it would cost 250,000 to move the drill from where it sits in Folkestone and the deal was off.

Mr Wilkinson, the second highest bidder at 39,899, was contacted and agreed to complete the purchase.

He said: "We won't be taking it home at all, we'll cut it on site.

"It will need to be scaffolded, we'll have cranes and it will have a team of about five or six blokes cutting it with oxygen and acetylene.

"It will leave this area in 5 ft x 2 ft pieces and it will end up in the steelworks, it will be recycled.

"Hopefully the scrap value is more than what we've paid for it and what it will cost to dismantle it."

The money from the sale is being split between three charities chosen by Eurotunnel staff - Macmillan Nurses, Demelza House Hospice and Pilgrim's Hospice.

Eurotunnel drill sells at 39,999
12 Apr 04 |  Business
Eurotunnel drill bids reach 5m
05 Apr 04 |  Business

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