Port of Tyne to Utilize Its Existing Assets for Renewable Energy
In 2013, the Port of Tyne saw cargo volumes increase by 25% to 8.1m tonnes, and turnover rose 16% to £73 million compared to 2012.
Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne Chief Executive Officer, said that 2013 had been another record year, and looking back over five years, the Port had achieved substantial growth not only in the performance of the business, but also in the investments made in Port infrastructure, and in the impact the Port has had on the regional economy.
"We have continued to develop the Port's vital infrastructure and have invested a total of over £60 million since 2009 with £15 million invested just last year.
"As a result, the Port of Tyne is now a larger and more sustainable business, offering greater resilience to our growing customer base in world-wide markets and bringing even greater economic value to the North East."
In 2013, 8.1 million tonnes of cargo was handled at the Port of Tyne, 625,000 passengers used the International Passenger Terminal, 640,000 cars crossed the quays making the Port the UK's biggest car exporting facility, and over 60,000 container units (teus) were either imported or exported.
Profit before tax in 2013 whilst still strong at over £6 million - three times higher than profit achieved in 2009 - decreased in 2013. This was due to crane outages which resulted in significant repair and associated operational costs, and also because of further investment made in the planned expansion of wood pellet facilities.
The number of employees has increased by 27% since 2009, and now the workforce stands at almost 600, including 16 new apprenticeships this year. "We have also continued to invest in the people who make the Port successful - the employees - and whilst we already are in the top 2% of Silver status Investors in People accredited businesses in the UK, this year we are striving to achieve gold," said Mr. Moffat.
Over the last five years the impact the Port has on the regional economy grew by 38% to over half a billion pounds supporting almost 10,500 direct and indirect jobs that depend on a thriving Port.
Capital investments since 2009 have included major infrastructure developments including new cranes, quays, land acquisitions and dredging. The Port of Tyne now has over 600 acres of land and 3,000 metres of quays.
A £25 million capital programme to extend the main Riverside Quay by 125 metres, and also to connect the Port's south bank estate to the recently acquired 17 acre adjacent site, is due to start by the end of June.
Supporting the growth of renewable energy, including plans for a potential £180 million extension of wood pellet cargo facilities, remains central to the future of the Port of Tyne.
"With its existing assets, the Port is now in a position to take advantage of opportunities in the renewable energy and offshore sectors. We will do this by implementing strategies that develop and utilise the recently acquired quays and operational land to maximise their potential. And in this way we will continue to diversify the business of the Port," added Mr. Moffat.
The Port has committed 1% of profit before tax to the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund, making it the biggest corporate fund of its kind in the area, distributing £119,000 during the year to charitable organisations supporting young people, communities and the environment.
In total, the Port invested just under half a million pounds - £446,000 - in its community engagement programme designed to support thriving communities within its area of operations.