One of Britain’s biggest ports will be expanded by 152 acres to create improved post-Brexit trade links under plans being unveiled today
A terminal will be built at the Port of Tilbury as part of proposals to boost its capacity by about a quarter when Britain leaves the European Union.
Opened in 1886, Tilbury in Essex lies about 25 miles downstream of London Bridge on the Thames. It is the third biggest container terminal in the UK and the main port serving the capital city, with 34 berths. It is the UK’s largest import terminal for paper products and also operates extensive facilities for handling grain and other bulk cargoes.
Up to £120 million will be spent creating a satellite port called Tilbury2 on a brownfield site adjacent to the existing port. The expansion will create a deepwater jetty for roll-on-roll-off ferries carrying goods between the UK and the rest of Europe. It will create extra capacity for construction materials and aggregates for Britain’s building trade as well as exported and imported cars.
The plans, unveiled by Tilbury’s owner, Forth Ports, form part of a wider £1 billion expansion of Tilbury taking place between 2012 and 2020.
The port has submitted a development consent order to build the extension on the site of the former Tilbury power station. A decision is expected in 2019 and, if approved, it is due to be operational in the second quarter of 2020 shortly after Britain leaves the EU.
Charles Hammond, the chief executive of Forth Ports, the port’s owner, said that Tilbury needed extra capacity to support businesses that operate imports and exports with Europe and elsewhere.
There is increasing competition between the Thames ports after the opening of the rival £1.5 billion DP World London Gateway farther down the river.
Much of the ferry cargo at Tilbury2 will be unaccompanied — with no driver — which should speed processing times. There are fears of long queues at Dover, where goods are carried by HGVs, when new border arrangements are enforced post-Brexit.