Port of Blyth has begun major construction works at one of its terminals, as the Northumberland port continues to attract customers across a range of sectors.
The £3m project, which was funded and programmed prior to COVID-19, will see the reconstruction and strengthening of the quay on the Bates Terminal site as well as a kilometre of new roadway being installed to improve access and considerable earthworks to level the development site.
Having consolidated two neighbouring sites into a single terminal with multiple quays, the site is already home to several of the port’s major tenant businesses. Once completed, the works will unlock 6Ha of prime quayside land on site and crucially provide an additional heavy lift quay, with the land development opportunity expected to generate significant interest from a range of sectors including offshore wind/renewables and liquid bulks.
Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive of Port of Blyth, said: “Commencing these works is another major milestone in the development of Port of Blyth. While the reconstruction of the quay will provide increased flexibility and availability at a time when demand is high, the earthworks on site will open up exciting opportunities for redevelopment on areas of the existing terminal and recently acquired land.
Having worked closely with the North East LEP on this project over the last year or so, we are delighted that all the funding has slotted into place for a project which will be of great benefit to both the port and the region.”
Andrew Hodgson, Chair of the North East LEP, said: “The Bates Terminal is one of the North East LEP area’s Enterprise Zones, which are strategically important sites that will help support our aim of creating more and better jobs in the region. Our £2.85m investment alongside the Port of Blyth will help to further cement Blyth and the wider region as a key location for the offshore and subsea sectors, whilst also offering port customers across a range of sectors additional growth opportunities.”
The terminal redevelopment comes at a time when Blyth’s Energy Central partnership is approaching completion of the £32m Northumberland Energy Park (phase 1) on the former Blyth Power Station site on the north side of the river, with keen interest in the site from several operators in the offshore wind industry.
Designed to create the perfect environment for inward investment from the offshore and renewable energy sectors, Energy Central is a unique collaboration between Port of Blyth, Advance Northumberland, Northumberland County Council and Offshore Energy Renewable (ORE) Catapult.
The principle contract for the Bates Terminal works has been awarded to County Durham civil engineering firm Hall Construction, with the project expected to be completed by November 2020.
About Port of Blyth
Port of Blyth is the port operating division of Blyth Harbour Commission, an independent statutory trust established in 1882 and is one of the largest Trust Port’s in the UK handling up to 2 million tonnes of cargo per annum across four terminals based around the River Blyth.
Together with major logistics and training divisions, the Port group turned over £21.9 million in 2018/19 and despite challenging global trading conditions has again set numerous records for performance for the year.
Such success has been driven by growth across a variety of sectors but particularly offshore energy (oil & gas and wind) with the Port is now recognised as a major strategic east coast base supporting the sector. Other trade handled includes containers, dry bulks (coal, aggregates, cement etc) and marine fuels.
As a Trust Port, all profits are re-invested back into the Port to improve facilities and to provide benefits for its wider stakeholders.