Home Associations Multi-million pound investment sees opening of pioneering dry bulk storage at the Port of Hull

Multi-million pound investment sees opening of pioneering dry bulk storage at the Port of Hull

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Craig Barbour outside ABP’s brand-new dry bulk storage facility (image courtesy of ABP/David Lee Photograph

Craig Barbour outside ABP’s brand-new dry bulk storage facility (image courtesy of ABP/David Lee Photograph

Investment of more than £4 million in a purpose-built facility for the storage of dry bulk cargoes has given Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Hull a pioneering multi-purpose warehouse facility which will be used to store biomass.

The building, which took almost a year to construct, boasts a range of features which makes it the only one of its kind in operation in the UK.

ABP Dry Bulks Manager, Craig Barbour said: “ABP really is leading the way in wood pellet storage in the UK following the £130 million investment in dedicated handling facilities in both Immingham and Hull. A warehouse like this was the obvious next step.

“We thought long and hard about what we wanted from the facility and what we’ve got is a building that can be used to store any dry bulk cargo safely whilst reducing risk to our staff. It’s a great example of best practise and leads the way in terms of industry standards.”

The 50m x 120m warehouse was built by Lincolnshire construction firm A Torn Construction Ltd, and is capable of holding up to 26, 000 tonnes of cargo. The building can be easily adapted to store other dry bulk products as it has blanked-off fire doors within retaining walls and the design has eliminated internal ledges to make the cleaning process more efficient when the building is being used for storing biomass.

As well as specialist fire protection measures including an incipient aspirating fire detection system, the warehouse also features internal LED lighting, wireless carbon monoxide and heat monitoring, an expanding foam fire suppression system, smoke extraction capabilities and an internal and external mist air system to control dust.

Craig Barbour continued: “The shed will be used for dry bulk cargoes primarily, supporting ABP’s agreement with Drax and so far it’s performing exceptionally well. It’s a valuable asset and has the best controls available to make sure it’s able to remain operational.

“The LED lighting and improved access points means that productivity has increased without the need to compromise on health and safety.”


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.

ABP Humber

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.

£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 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.

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