Minister visits Immingham to discuss developments planned for UK’s busiest port
October 17, 2014
The recently appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport Claire Perry visited Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Immingham recently, where she discussed plans to strengthen existing rail infrastructure at the facility dubbed ‘the King’s Cross of rail freight’.
The port handles more than 25% of all UK rail freight.
The minister toured the port as part of a visit organised by local Government officials including a number of Humber MPs keen to promote Immingham’s importance to the economic life of the region and to the UK as a whole.
Ms Perry, who is currently the MP for Devizes, was appointed in July and has responsibility for rail franchising, commercial activity and fares, major rail projects, freight and logistics, transport agencies, as well as corporate regulation.
The Minister was shown around the Port and visited Immingham’s flagship Humber International Terminal (HIT), which handled around 20 million tonnes of coal last year. Via the Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal (IRFT), HIT will soon move three million tonnes of biomass each year, for Drax Power Ltd. All of these cargoes are transported to their final destination via the rail freight network and investment is needed to improve rail infrastructure on the port estate in order to accommodate further growth in dry bulk cargoes.
ABP Head of Projects Humber Simon Brett feels the visit underlines Government recognition of the key role the Port of Immingham plays in supporting the whole of the UK economy.
He said: “The minister was keen to learn about rail infrastructure within the port boundary, how it’s currently used, how it can be improved and how it links to the wider UK rail freight network.
“We have plans to grow our dry bulks business, particularly at the Humber International Terminal, and our rail freight links are crucial to this.
“We stressed the importance of enhancing Immingham’s connectivity as we continue to invest in developing the Humber’s biggest asset, and she was extremely receptive to our plans.
“She was also interested in how ABP plans to develop Immingham in a range of trades which support energy and manufacturing businesses. Projects like IRFT, the Immingham Western Deepwater Jetty and enhanced ferry facilities will enable the port to meet its customers’ needs going forward and deliver new jobs to the area.
“The minister was extremely impressed with our plans for development of the UK’s most important port and we are confident that Government’s role in connecting the port to its market is fully understood.”