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UK ports: report reveals £1.7 billion worth of infrastructure in development pipeline

Published by , Assistant Editor
Dry Bulk,

The British Ports Association (BPA) has published new research undertaken by infrastructure advisory firm Moffatt & Nichol which shows that UK ports and terminals have an estimated £1.7 billion of port infrastructure investment in the development pipeline.

The research is part of the BPA’s ‘Port Futures’ programme and examines significant schemes all over the UK. The report highlights how ports in all parts of the UK are investing in new facilities to foster growth in the UK market.

The BPA Policy Manager and Port Futures programme Coordinator, Mark Simmonds, welcomed the report. He remarked:“Ports are doing their bit but we rely on Government to ensure that road and rail connections from the port gate are fit for purpose. The terrestrial and marine planning and consenting process is also cumbersome and costly and often holds back or even prevents some sustainable port development. We hope that this report helps Government to develop an accurate picture of the investment that industry is making when developing its policies and making its own investment decisions regarding infrastructure.”

“This research demonstrates that UK ports are investing in new infrastructure to keep goods and people moving as efficiently as possible. The UK ports industry operates in a competitive and commercial environment, independently of Government, so this significant investment is at no cost to the taxpayer.”

Joseph Collins who undertook the research at Moffatt & Nichol said: “This report focuses on developments which have been announced in the press in the last 12 months and […] shows the potential scale of UK ports’ investment in infrastructure. Despite there being no guarantee that all of these projects will be fully realised, with greater engagement between key stakeholders such as Government, the Ports, Investors and Statutory Bodies, the realisation of these developments has the best chance of success. It’s also likely that there are a many more privately financed infrastructure projects planned or underway all around the country, which haven’t been discussed in public yet. Together, these projects help ensure that the 95% of UK trade that moves through our ports continues to do so as efficiently as possible.”

The assessment undertaken by Moffatt & Nichol used publicly sourced data taken from the last 12 months.

The BPA is planning to write to the Infrastructure Projects Authority to ensure that officials have a clear picture of industry investment, highlighting significant projects such as Aberdeen’s £350 million new South Harbour project and the Port of Tyne’s £38 million investment in in support of an overall £300 million development of a new biomass plant.

According to the BPA, there are more than a dozen other significant port projects listed in the research. These projects were not included in the most recent ‘pipeline’ report from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, but demonstrate great optimism in infrastructure development and growth in the port sector.

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