A new £3.5 million dry discharge system at CEMEX Northfleet Wharf is set to secure Thames river traffic and improve building materials throughputs at the site.
The Port of London Authority (PLA) is investing in the new conveyor and infrastructure as part of their investment plan. The development will enable CEMEX marine dredgers to discharge sand and gravel more efficiently for processing at the Northfleet site.
CEMEX marine dredgers bring sand and gravel from the North Sea and other off-shore locations into three wharves along the Thames including Northfleet, primarily for use in the London construction market.
The site currently handles approximately 500 000 t of material a year, which will increase to approximately 800 000 - 850 000 t with the system due to the faster turn round of vessels.
The PLA’s investment plan is principally aimed at delivering the goals of the Thames Vision, which targets greater river use, alongside an improving environment. The plan’s goals are to sustain or increase port trade/river use and generate commercial returns.
“Our investment at Northfleet is the first under the investment plan and is a perfect example of what we are looking to achieve,” explained PLA Chief Executive, Robin Mortimer.
“We are investing in the improved discharge systems that will marry up well with the new dredger that CEMEX has on order. In combination this will secure the long term future of cargo handling at this key site and generate a commercial return which we can re-invest in other river projects.”
CEMEX’s Marine Director, Kurt Cowdrey commented: “We welcome the opportunity to partner with the PLA to improve cargo handling on the Thames. London is an important market for us and this investment will provide a platform for continued use and future growth at Northfleet."
“The capital needs approximately 10 million t of sand, gravel and crushed rock every year to build, maintain and improve housing, buildings and infrastructure. The use of water to transport building materials to the heart of the city reduces the need for long distance lorry movements, with every dredger reducing the need for 250 lorries on our busy roads.”
The new dry discharge system will be completed mid- to the end of June 2019.