The recently appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport Claire Perry visited Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Immingham recently, where she discussed plans to strengthen existing rail infrastructure at the facility dubbed ‘the King’s Cross of rail freight’.
The port handles more than 25% of all UK rail freight.
The minister toured the port as part of a visit organised by local Government officials including a number of Humber MPs keen to promote Immingham’s importance to the economic life of the region and to the UK as a whole.
Ms Perry, who is currently the MP for Devizes, was appointed in July and has responsibility for rail franchising, commercial activity and fares, major rail projects, freight and logistics, transport agencies, as well as corporate regulation.
The Minister was shown around the Port and visited Immingham’s flagship Humber International Terminal (HIT), which handled around 20 million tonnes of coal last year. Via the Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal (IRFT), HIT will soon move three million tonnes of biomass each year, for Drax Power Ltd. All of these cargoes are transported to their final destination via the rail freight network and investment is needed to improve rail infrastructure on the port estate in order to accommodate further growth in dry bulk cargoes.
ABP Head of Projects Humber Simon Brett feels the visit underlines Government recognition of the key role the Port of Immingham plays in supporting the whole of the UK economy.
He said: “The minister was keen to learn about rail infrastructure within the port boundary, how it’s currently used, how it can be improved and how it links to the wider UK rail freight network.
“We have plans to grow our dry bulks business, particularly at the Humber International Terminal, and our rail freight links are crucial to this.
“We stressed the importance of enhancing Immingham’s connectivity as we continue to invest in developing the Humber’s biggest asset, and she was extremely receptive to our plans.
“She was also interested in how ABP plans to develop Immingham in a range of trades which support energy and manufacturing businesses. Projects like IRFT, the Immingham Western Deepwater Jetty and enhanced ferry facilities will enable the port to meet its customers’ needs going forward and deliver new jobs to the area.
“The minister was extremely impressed with our plans for development of the UK’s most important port and we are confident that Government’s role in connecting the port to its market is fully understood.”
ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.
Around one quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade passes through ABP’s Statutory Harbour Areas. ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84, 000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.
- · Handled over 1.5 million vehicles in 2013.
- · Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
- · Has 1.4 million square metres of covered storage
- · Has 1000 hectares of open storage
- · Handled 119m tonnes of cargo in 2013
- · Owns 5000 hectares of port estate
- · Has 87km of quay
Over the next five years, ABP is investing over £650 million in a wide range of major projects across the group.
The four ports of Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole handle more than 65 million tonnes of cargo between them each year.
Grimsby and Immingham form the UK’s busiest trading gateway and move around 54 million tonnes of cargo per annum.
£75 million is currently being invested in the biomass handling terminal in Immingham, in a Humber-wide agreement with Drax Power Ltd that has seen £25 million invested in a biomass handling facility in Hull. The Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal will handle sustainable biomass shipments and will create over 100 permanent jobs once complete. The construction phase has also created 100 employment opportunities.
The Port of Hull handles 10 million tonnes of cargo per annum and is the is the focal point for the development of the UK’s largest offshore wind turbine construction, assembly, and service facility, which will be located on the Port’s Alexandra Dock. This new facility, coupled with a new rotor blade manufacturing base near Paull to the east of the port estate, represents a £310 million investment and could create up to 1000 direct jobs.
The Grimsby River Terminal represents an investment of £26 million and allows large car-carrying ships to berth outside the Port’s lock system. This development confirms the Port’s position as the UK’s leading automotive handling facility.
More than the equivalent of 1million teus (twenty foot equivalent unit) of unitised trade is shipped through ABP Humber ports.
Ro-ro and container traffic represents more than 30 sailings a week to Europe, Scandinavia the Baltic and beyond.
The Humber ports handle more than 70 freight train movements per day.
Goole is situated 50 miles upriver and is the UK’s premier inland port. It handles over two million tonnes of cargo annually.