Plans for £130m cable factory in the North East

A £130m factory making cables for offshore wind farms is to be built on the Northumberland coast, creating 170 new jobs and safeguarding another 270 in the region.

JDR Cable Systems, which already has sites in the North East at Newcastle and Hartlepool, wants to build the plant at Cambois, near Blyth, after receiving a grant to cover some of the construction costs from the Government’s Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme.

JDR and its parent company, the TFK Group, hope to raise the rest of the funding for the project from financial instutions and the Government’s UK Export Finance scheme.

When complete, it will be the only facility in the UK capable of producing high voltage subsea cables for offshore wind farms from start to finish, supporting the growing – and increasingly lucrative – renewable energy market.

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DP World to invest £300 m in new fourth berth at London Gateway

DP World has announced that it will begin work next month on a new fourth berth at its London Gateway logistics hub to increase supply chain resilience and create more capacity for the world’s largest vessels.

The £300m sum – which builds on the £2bn investment DP World has made in Britain over the last decade – represents the next step by the leading global provider of smart logistics in delivering integrated supply chain solutions for customers.

In the first six months of 2021 London Gateway saw record throughput of 888,000 TEU, a more than 23 per cent increase on the previous best performance for the first half of a year. The new fourth berth will raise capacity by a third and completion will coincide with the delivery of a new wave of 24,000 TEU vessels in 2023/2024, which will all be operated between Asia and Europe. 

Along with the Port of Tilbury London Ltd Forth Ports Limited and Ford UK’s Dagenham plant, DP World London Gateway will form Thames Freeport after being awarded freeport status by the Government earlier this year.

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Thames Freeport to open in just weeks

A new port which is set to create 25,000 jobs in south Essex will be officially opened in just a matter of weeks.

Thames Freeport  will formally open for business this month, marked by the launch of a new film which brings to life the benefits of locating in the new economic zone at the heart of Europe’s biggest consumer market.

The joint bid by DP World and Forth Ports Limited in partnership with Ford UK and Thames Enterprise Park will see a Thames Freeport, with Thurrock at its heart, attract billions in private sector investment over the next 25 years.

Robin Mortimer, Chief Executive at the Port of London Authority, said: “Through the Port of London Authority, the tidal Thames connects all freeport sites to the consumer markets of London and the South East, creating the infrastructure for an innovative and green trading corridor. We are determined to play a leading role in the journey to net zero.”

Thames Freeport’s formal commercial launch will take place at an event at the Savoy Hotel, London, on Weds 15th September, the same day the National Maritime  SME Working Group meets at Woods Quay next to the Savoy during DSEI & London International Shipping Week 2021

The Thames Freeport partners are progressing the business case with the Government, with a view to receiving formal accreditation this year.

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Europe’s biggest chain and anchor port to build new oil and gas infrastructure decommissioning facility

John Lawrie Metals Ltd (JLM), of Aberdeen, is to build an oil and gas infrastructure decommissioning facility in Montrose.

Announcing a 12-year lease for the site, Montrose Port Authority (MPA) said the new operation on the harbour’s South Quay would help meet demand in the North Sea.

Waste management and environmental permits from The Scottish Government will allow the facility to handle and process all types of materials produced during decommissioning.

MPA highlighted direct quayside access, together with “ease of discharge and handover of client materials” as major selling points for the site.

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Hunterston PARC 900 job deal with subsea energy cable manufacturer

Hunterston Port and Resource Campus (Hunterston PARC) is primed to secure a deal with a sustainable energy sector company that would result in the creation of 900 permanent jobs at the giant Ayrshire site.

Owner Peel Ports Group Clydeport has signed an option agreement with XLCC for a 70-acre facility to include two factories producing state-of-the-art high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable for use in the subsea transmission of renewable energy.

The plan also includes the construction of research and development laboratories, offices, stores, electrical infrastructure and a high-tech cable delivery system, taking over almost a quarter of the land available for development at the former ore and coal terminal.
The development requires investment in the order of £370m for buildings and plant, with another £200m for a commissioned specialist ship capable of transporting the massively heavy cable reels. The vessel would be shared with a third XLCC factory planned for Wales.

XLCC has instigated the planning process with North Ayrshire Council and a planning application is expected to go before committee in February next year. If consent is given work would begin in April, with another 400 jobs created during the construction phase.

The schedule is for test lengths of cable to be made by April 2023, with 200 jobs in place at the start of that year. Full manufacturing production will be underway by November 2024 with the remaining 700 jobs in place between May 2024 and November 2024. 

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Rotterdam port confident on hydrogen pipeline

The Port of Rotterdam is confident that there will be sufficient hydrogen supply and demand to justify the development of its hydrogen pipeline project with Dutch gas system operator Gasunie linking Maasvlakte and Pernis.

The port has said it is going “full speed ahead” with preparations for a hydrogen pipeline within the port, which is planned to enter into operation by the second quarter of 2024.

This is despite Dutch energy regulator ACM’s warning last month not to develop hydrogen infrastructure while future hydrogen demand is still uncertain.

Unlike regulated energy markets elsewhere in Europe, the Dutch regulator has no authority to approve projects, meaning that hydrogen pipeline projects can go ahead regardless of the regulator’s suggestions.

The port authority is in discussion with several firms about connecting planned electrolysers to the hydrogen link.

The first customers for the pipeline would be Shell and Eneco, which are developing a 200MW electrolyser at Maasvlakte. A final investment decision on the project is expected at the end of this year, the port said.

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Work starts on final facilities in £12m Stornoway Harbour development

Work has started on a £2.5m project to build a marine engineering workshop and vessel wash-down area at Stornoway Harbour.

New jobs are expected to be created when the facility, being developed by Stornoway Port Authority (SPA), opens.

The project is the final part of a wider £12m investment in the Newton Basin and Goat Island areas of the harbour by the organisation.

Serving commercial and leisure markets, the workshop will house two covered boat repair bays, one of which will be available on a long-term lease and the other on a short-term basis.

It is being built on land reclaimed to create the 75-berth Newton Marina.

SPA awarded the construction contact for the development to Ayrshire-based 3b Construction, with a subcontract package going to Breedon Hebrides.

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DFDS launches Sheerness-Calais unaccompanied service as demand grows

DFDS has launched its new unaccompanied ro-ro service, offering a daily sailing in each direction between Calais and the Thames port of Sheerness.

It is the first regular ferry service at Peel Ports Group-owned Sheerness since Olau Line ceased calling in 1994. Since then, however, it has cemented its position as a key hub for finished vehicle shipments.

“It’s the first ferry service we’ve welcomed at Sheerness in more than two decades and its launch has helped create further opportunities for our customers, as well as the creation of up to 100 direct and indirect local jobs,” said Richard Goffin, port director, London Medway, for Peel Ports.

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Firth of Forth Proposed as Scotland’s Green Port

Forth Ports Limited, Scotland’s largest ports operator and owner of seven Scottish ports on the east coast, has today intimated to the Scottish Government that it will submit a proposal for a Green Port encompassing key ports, industrial complexes and logistics centres along the north and south shores of the Firth of Forth and at Edinburgh Airport.

The Scottish Government has invited expressions of interest for the creation of a Green Port, which is a large, zoned area with a defined boundary within which operators and businesses can benefit from a package of financial and customs incentives which can attract inward investment.

Subject to sight of the Scottish Government’s full Green Ports prospectus, Forth Ports, which has been a port operator for over 50 years, proposes that the Firth of Forth Green Port will encompass strategic locations along the Forth Estuary, including Grangemouth (home to Scotland’s Freight Hub and principal petrochemical cluster) and the Port of Leith, where Forth Ports announced in May that it plans to create a £40 million renewable energy hub.

Fife and the City of Edinburgh are also expected to feature in Forth Ports’ Green Ports bid. Forth Ports are currently evaluating sites in Fife along the North Shore of the Firth of Forth from Longannet to Rosyth. Edinburgh Airport is also expected to feature for its international connectivity. Each of these locations are uniquely placed to deliver on all of the objectives of the proposed Green Ports policy.

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Significant milestone demonstrates the resurgence of the River Tees

PD Ports, owner and operator of Teesport, has secured a third long-term deal at its recently unveiled state-of-the-art bulks facility, accelerating future expansion plans due to demand from global manufacturers and shippers.

The UK major ports group signed a long-term contract with a third global customer to secure the remaining bays inside the 300,000 sq.ft. Teesport Bulks Terminal based on the port estate.

Opened during pandemic, the £9.2 million investment by PD Ports to renovate and refurbish the former Steel Export Terminal in to the modernised Teesport Bulks Terminal, marked an important milestone in the revival of the Tees Valley, continuing to boost trade, investment and creating 44 new direct jobs with a further 250 jobs in the wider supply chain.

This investment follows the £50M redevelopment of Teesport’s No. One Quay, supported by Regional Growth Funding, to enhance and expand rail-connected bulk handling facilities at Teesport.

Now, less than one year on, the Teesport Bulks Terminal is now planning to extend the facility further.

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