Tilbury poised for significant expansion
'We expect to invest at least £100m' - Charles Hammond, CEO, Forth Ports
Forth Ports is poised for dramatic expansion at the Port of Tilbury after acquiring the adjacent site of the now-closed Tilbury Power Station.
The 152-acre site provides the equivalent of a 25% expansion of the port and includes a deepwater jetty with potential for other berthing, said Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports.
“This is like acquiring a new port but one that is linked to an existing port; we get a clean sheet and jetty with the benefit of being connected to a 130-year-old commercial network,” he said.
He declined to reveal the price paid for the site but said: “We expect to invest at least £100m in the site.”
The purchase is in two phases – the northern half of the site was completed in January and the second phase, where the power station is now being demolished, will be completed in January 2017. The port is already using part of the site for imported Hyundai vehicles.
“London is clearly expanding eastwards and Thurrock is going to be the major beneficiary of that. We handled 16.5m tonnes of cargo last year; throughput has almost doubled in the past 15 years and we are saying that in the next ten to 15 years we can double it again,” said Mr Hammond.
Separately, Tilbury has submitted a planning application for a 2.2m sq ft sorting and fulfilment centre to be built on the port’s London Distribution Park. Said to be the largest shed in the UK and fitted with three mezzanine levels, it is due to be opened in 2017.