Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Port Opens Intermodal Bulk Terminal on Refurbished Steel Site

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UK – Last week saw the official opening of PD Ports new multi-million pound bulk handling facility at Teesport by Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke. The Teesport Bulks Terminal is situated on the refurbished site of the old SSI Steelworks Steel Export Terminal after the final demise of the company in 2015.

The failure of the steel group hit the area very hard, at one point the banks of the River Tees was lined with dozens of blast furnaces supporting thousands of jobs but by the 1970’s only the facility in Redcar remained to feed the export terminal. Now the 300,000 square foot terminal comprises seven walled bays, primed to store a range of bulk products such as soya and grain and has directly connected to covered rail access to provide an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective solution for domestic exports. Simon Clarke, MP during his opening speech, said:

“The opening of the Teesport Bulks Terminal marks an important milestone in the continued revival of the Tees Valley. This new terminal will increase trade, create new jobs for the region and help boost the UK’s economic recovery as we emerge from the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Teesside is leading the way in an era of international investment and economic renewal and as a proud Teessider, I couldn’t welcome this more.”

PD Ports says it has invested some £9.2 million to renovate the site and create a modernised warehousing facility and the port group claims it has attracted £1 billion of investment to the region over the last decade. In addition the government has put in £70 million investment to regenerate the Tees Valley and its ongoing commitment to the levelling-up agenda. PD Ports’ CEO, Frans Calje, says completion of the Teesport Bulks Terminal signifies the resurgence of bulks handling in the Tees Valley and demonstrates the region’s economic recovery post SSI. He continued:

“In 2015, disaster struck the Tees Valley as the steelworks collapsed after more than 150 years of steelmaking. Overnight the River Tees and this region lost one of its main component parts and we, as PD Ports, lost a third of our business. Thanks to an ongoing journey of diversification, we have been able to rise, almost symbolically, from our own ashes into something that is now far larger in 2020 than it ever was in 2015.

“We now employ more people than we ever did before in the Tees Valley and instead of being reliant on what we once were we are now in charge of our own destiny. With the opening of this facility we are celebrating the relationship of two like-minded businesses and the realisation that by working together we can be far greater than going it alone.”

Global natural resource company Glencore Agriculture UK will utilise three bays at the Teesport Bulks Terminal to store its agribulk products destined for UK distribution and the group backed PD Ports’ investment. Glencore UK Managing Director, James Maw, explained how the opening of the facility is an important milestone for his business as well as for the Tees Valley, saying:

“Our business was getting tired and so we had to radically think about how to revitalise Glencore UK. That planning and strategy led us to Teesside and PD Ports in late 2016. PD Ports has proven its adaptability in transitioning from steel products to a wide range of bulk products and I have to commend the work they have done, alongside key customers, in delivering a remarkable change for PD Ports and the Tees Valley. It is providing a future for the Port and the region as a whole.

“The Teesport Bulks Terminal will provide new opportunities for both import and export as well as providing the efficiency, reliability, flexibility and a level of service that will ensure that our customers remain our customers.”