Tilbury 2 port will open in the eye of a storm

Britain’s newest port, a huge extension of the Tilbury facilities on the north bank of the Thames east of London, will open next month, despite dislocation caused by virus restrictions.

Tilbury 2, built on the site of the old Tilbury power station down river of the existing Port of Tilbury, will go into operation as scheduled, Forth Ports, its owner and developer, has confirmed.

The £250 million, 160-acre development will double Tilbury’s capacity to 32 million tonnes of cargo a year. The port has handled up to £8.7 billion of goods a year.

It will be the largest dedicated roll-on, roll-off freight ferry port in the UK, with parking for lorries and containers and storage for bulk cargoes, such as aggregates. It is important for seaborne trade, as 95 per cent of British imports and exports go through docks.

Tilbury 2 is owned by Forth Ports, whose eight UK assets include Grangemouth, in Scotland. However, it will be operated by P&O Ferries, which is owned by DP World, the operator of London Gateway, the new container port eight miles downstream

Charles Hammond, Forth’s chief executive, said: “Tilbury 2 will be match-fit for Brexit . . . and while global leaders are preoccupied, now is a good time to focus on a development that will be crucial to London’s future.”

Forth has developed the facility to take advantage of the need for much more ferry capacity in the southeast of England, close to the London consumer market as well as to the M25 motorway.

The company said that it would be able to specialise in time-sensitive goods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, alongside medicines and consumables, coming in from ports on the other side of the North Sea.

Source: The Times website