Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Digging Deep to Boost Economy on Teesside

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Digging Deep to Boost Economy on Teesside

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ian McNeal

Ports have played a vital role in the North-East economy for hundreds of years. Ian McNeal looks at how three of them are building on their heritage for the future.

Teesport has seen several dramatic changes in recent years but the biggest development of all could be just around the corner ( one which could transform the Teesside economy. PD Ports, the company which owns and operates Teesport and Hartlepool ports, was sold last year by Japanese owners Nikko Principal Investments for around pounds 450m.

The deal saw the immediate flotation of the business on the Alternative Investment Market, and later the full Stock Exchange.

Other changes have seen the opening of the pounds 20m Teesport Container Terminal 2, which doubled Teesport's capacity and has seen the port grow to become the second largest by volume in the country ( handling 54m tonnes of cargo a year.

PD Ports has also been closely involved in Victoria Harbour, a proposed pounds 500m development bringing housing, leisure and business facilities to a dockland site in Hartlepool.

But plans are now afoot to push forward even greater changes at Teesport.

As Martyn Pellew ( PD Ports group development director ( explains, the company is looking to open up the port to major new business.

He said: "The fact that we are fully quoted on the stock market means we are going to be examining in greater detail the possibility of constructing a deep-sea container terminal.

"If this went ahead, it would mean an investment of pounds 200m and would bring several thousand jobs to the Tees Valley.

"This year we will carry out an environmental impact assessment and look in greater detail at building a container terminal that can handle up to one million containers a year."

A deep-sea container terminal would greatly increase the number of vessels which could use the Teesport, as the port could attract traffic from the Far East, Africa and Australia. …

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