Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Port Sees Turnover Fall Due to 'Global Factors' REVENUE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Port Sees Turnover Fall Due to 'Global Factors' REVENUE

Article excerpt

Byline: graeme whitfield

THE Port of Tyne saw turnover slump in 2016 as massive falls in its traditional cargo business sparked investment in new ways of attracting revenue.

The Port saw conventional and bulk cargo halve in 2016, leading to a 22% drop in turnover from PS58.8m to PS45.9m.

A number of global factors - particularly the shift away from coal-fire power stations, which meant no coal was imported to the Port in 2016 - affected the Port's financial results.

The Port's reaction to those factors has seen it invest PS14.6m to develop its infrastructure, with the bulk of that - PS8.8m - being spent on facilities to handle wood pellets that will be imported for use on the Lynemouth Power Station in Northumberland after its re-fit to renewable energy production.

The drop in business at the port led to a corresponding decrease in employment, with 437 members of staff at the end of the year, down by 46 on the same stage in 2015.

In the Port's annual report, chairman Hilary Florek said: "In 2016, the Port of Tyne has performed well across all of its business areas, with the exception of conventional and bulk cargoes which have been adversely impacted by the dramatic reduction in imported coal volumes across the UK during the past three years.

"Port of Tyne coal volumes adversely impacted the overall financial performance, and profitability of the business in 2016.

"The Port, however, is in a strong position to recover from the decline in coal handling as construction of new multi-million-pound wood pellet handling and storage facilities for Lynemouth Power Ltd (LPL) is well under way and due for commissioning in the second half of 2017. Associated volumes are anticipated to be in excess of 1.8m tonnes per annum over a 10-year agreement period. …

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