The world’s largest ever single shipment of biomass has been discharged on the quayside at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Humber International Terminal (HIT) at the Port of Immingham ready for onward transit to Drax power station.
Almost 60, 000 tonnes of wood pellets were unloaded from the POPI S – the first time such cargo has been carried by a Panamax-class vessel. The ship was loaded at the Westview Terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia on 2 June, before making the 34-day journey to Immingham.
The pellets have been discharged using ABP’s bespoke continuous ship unloaders, which feed the product onto a conveyor system connected to Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal (IRFT), where it will be stored in eight silos, each capable of holding 25, 000 tonnes of biomass, before being loaded onto trains for the final part of its journey.
IRFT is the world’s largest dedicated biomass handling facility.
The world-beating shipment forms part of ABP’s Humber-wide agreement with Drax Power Ltd, which will see it supply up to six million tonnes of biomass per year to the power station as part of its conversion to low carbon electricity generation.
ABP Director Humber, John Fitzgerald said: “This shipment marks a significant milestone not only in our partnership with Drax, but in the development of the biomass and renewable energy sectors globally.
“This is a very exciting time for our ‘Energy Estuary’ and we’re extremely proud to be at the forefront of the renewables industry on the Humber, working closely with partners including Drax, to drive innovation, boost the regional and national economy and fuel the Northern Economic Powerhouse.”
Drax Head of Supply Chain & Logistics, Graham Backhouse said: “This shipment provides further evidence of our new supply chain supporting the transition from coal to sustainable biomass at Drax. We are transforming the UK’s largest Power Station into one of Europe’s largest generators of renewable electricity and this shipment is another example of how we provide the UK with sustainable, reliable and affordable energy.”
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 1.6 million vehicles in 2014.
- 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 94.5m tonnes of cargo in 2014
- 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 63 million tonnes of cargo between them each year.
Grimsby and Immingham form the UK’s busiest trading gateway and move around 51 million tonnes of cargo per annum.
£130-plus 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 handles 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 manufacturing, construction, assembly, and service facility, which will be located on the Port’s Alexandra Dock. This new facility represents a £310 million investment and will 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 one million tonnes of cargo annually.