Peel Ports completes £1.6bn refinancing deal
Peel Ports has successfully completed a £1.6bn refinancing deal to fund its growth plans. The funding has been raised from a variety of banks and private investors and includes £150 million from the European Investment Bank. Commenting on the refinancing, Graeme Charnock, Chief Financial Officer, said: “The strong support we have received from banks and investors is testament to their confidence in the future plans of the Peel Ports Group.
Peel Ports Mersey says collaboration with local partners will give a serious boost to North West jobs market
Peel Ports Mersey, recently recognised as ‘Port Authority of the Year’ by authoritative global industry journal Containerisation International, has signed up to partnership agreements with two local colleges; Liverpool Community College and Mersey Maritime Group.
Final phase of Port of Liverpool’s lock gate refurbishment programme completed
£4.3m Gladstone Lock outage work is a success after two years in the planning
The second and final phase of the latest £4.3m investment in the refurbishment of the Port of Liverpool’s lock system has been successfully completed.
The complex engineering operation, over 24 months in the planning, saw the West Inner Gate at the Port’s Gladstone Lock replaced.
Lessons learned during a similar operation in May involving the Lock’s East Inner Gate resulted in a vastly-reduced 36 hour outage.
Careful timing of the outage meant that all scheduled regular shipping arrivals were able to access the dock system via Gladstone Lock as normal without disruption.
The work saw the giant West Inner Gate - 16m in height and weighing 400 tonnes, removed and replaced with a fully refurbished gate.
The operation started Friday July 27 at 7am and was completed the following day, with the first vessel able to transit the Lock at 6pm.
Peel Ports Mersey’s Head of Port Operations David Huck said: “The outage is the culmination of many months of planning, and we’re delighted that this major feat of engineering was completed in very good time by our contractors BAM Nuttall.
“Our customers were alerted well in advance of the outage and with good planning all of our regular calls were able to be accommodated as normal, which was very important.
“The completion of these works has provided an even more reliable lock system for our customers, reducing maintenance costs and improving access for our engineering personnel.
“These key assets are essential to the smooth running of the Port and we envisage that these upgrades should ensure the gates are functional for many years to come.”
This latest operation at Gladstone Lock takes overall investment in this area of Liverpool’s infrastructure to £20m.
Meanwhile, an earlier project in the overall refurbishment programme has been recognised with a prestigious engineering award.
Work carried out last year to stabilise the Outer West Ram Pit at the Gladstone Lock River Entrance has won the North West Structural Engineering Small Project Award - with the highest score in all the categories.
The award will be presented at the Annual Structural Engineering Awards in September, held in the Hilton in Manchester.
Peel Ports Pledges Major Drive to Secure Vestas Replacement at Sheerness
Peel Ports Group, owner of the Port of Sheerness in Kent, has moved quickly to pledge a major effort in securing a replacement for Vestas, following a decision not to take up the option to locate a major wind turbine manufacturing facility at the port.
Peel Ports and Vestas jointly announced last week that the Danish firm’s planned creation of a major European-scale manufacturing plant would not now proceed.
However Mark Whitworth, chief executive of the UK’s second-largest ports group, said his company was “100% committed” to finding a replacement, describing the Sheerness facility as “absolutely tailor-made” for major renewables manufacturing.
Whitworth said: “Everyone involved is bitterly disappointed, but our aim of delivering a world-class renewables manufacturing operation at Sheerness is very much alive.
“There are very few locations which can compete with the offering at Sheerness for such significant manufacturing operations.
“Our confidence is based on a number of factors – ideal geographical location, superb marine facilities, availability of major parcels of land and, crucially, the recent approval by Swale Borough Council’s planning committee. Indeed, the site ticks all the boxes from a planning, technical, commercial and legal standpoint, making it a very compelling proposition to other manufacturers.
“To a large degree, the detailed preparation has already been done on this site and we’re committed to identifying a replacement operator who can take advantage of the fact that the Port of Sheerness is now tailor-made to play a leading role in this vital industry.”
Among the advantages of Sheerness are:
Last year’s announcement of the original 12-month option agreement outlined plans for the new manufacturing facility in Kent on the Isle of Sheppey. The proposed factory on the 170-acre site in the Port of Sheerness was projected to employ 2,000 people.
Whitworth said a great deal of the credit for achieving the progress to date had to go to the local authorities and enterprise agencies.
He said: “Developments of this scale are invariably extremely complex, however the efforts of Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council, Locate in Kent and Thames Gateway Kent Partnership have been superb.
“They have demonstrated a really positive-can-do approach throughout the entire planning process and their attitude to securing a world-class manufacturing facility at Sheerness has been magnificent. This spirit of co-operation bodes well in our efforts to identify and secure a replacement.
“We are now engaged in a worldwide exercise with our public and private sector partners to approach the key renewable manufacturers, highlighting the many benefits of Sheerness.”
Details of Swale Borough Council Planning Committee approval:
Peel Ports Mersey signs import deal with UK’s fastest growing retailer
B&M to quadruple cargo through the Port of Liverpool this year
Peel Ports Mersey has signed a deal with B&M Retail that will result in that company bringing substantially more cargo through the Port of Liverpool, significantly reducing inland road haulage costs, road congestion and CO2 emissions.
B&M today (Fri Apr 27) confirmed that it will be importing 12,000 teu of cargo, mainly fast-moving consumer goods from the Far East, through the Port of Liverpool in 2012 - four times greater than last year’s figure.
B&M is the UK’s fastest growing retailer with sales 30% up on last year and is currently operating 271 stores nationwide, with plans for further store expansion.The North West-based retailer’s head office and main distribution centre is in the Speke area of Liverpool - only 14 miles from the Port of Liverpool.
Until recently all of its imports entered the UK via southern coast ports, before being moved by road and rail to its national distribution centres in Liverpool and Blackpool.
Bobby Arora, B&M Retail’s owner & managing director, said: “Our partnership with the Port of Liverpool has been pivotal to our supply chain and I am in no doubt their cooperation, hard work and dedication to B&M has played a significant part in our success. Our relationship will continue to grow along with our business.”Paul McCoy, business manager at Peel Ports Mersey, which operates both the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal, said: “This is further proof that the strategy of importing through the Port of Liverpool offers real benefits to UK importers.
He added: “Liverpool is the most centrally positioned deep sea port in the UK, ideally situated to serve all cargo bound for Northern Britain by optimising the supply chain, and we are delighted that this has been recognised by B&M Retail.”
First project cargo for Liverpool - Manchester Ship Canal “Green Highway” barge service
The first project cargo has been transported on Peel Ports’ barge service on the Manchester Ship Canal.
Until now the Liverpool to Manchester service has carried only an increasing level of containers, but transporting of a giant chemicals tank to the Ineos facility at Runcorn saw the start of non-containerised traffic.
The 30 metre high 20 tonne tank arrived at the Port of Liverpool from Holland on the ACL vessel Atlantic Concert, and made the onward journey on the Ship Canal to Runcorn by barge.
The journey from Liverpool to Runcorn took just over three hours.
Stephen Carr, Peel Ports Mersey’s head of business development for the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal, said: “This is the latest development in our objective to increase usage of the Ship Canal as a logistics hub that drives down cost and CO2 emissions.
“The Port of Liverpool has seen a significant increase in container volumes over the last few months, much of which has continued the journey via our barge service to end-users – driven by supply chains looking for a lower cost solution to serve Northern and Central Britain.
“Delivery of this project cargo from the Port of Liverpool to Runcorn is a departure in that is the first non-container cargo to use our barge service, and we are keen to expand and further develop that side of the business
“This further increase in the use of the Ship Canal demonstrates the desire of many companies to use water to get their product as close to their customer as possible.”
Andrew Wormald, senior sales & operations manager at Abnormal Load Services Ltd, Peel Ports’ customer on this project, said: “The sheer size of this cargo made the use of road transport problematic, and the use of Peel’s barge service was the perfect solution. It also saved us on costs and carbon emissions for this leg of the journey from Holland.”
Peel Ports invites bids for construction of Liverpool 2 - The Port of Liverpool’s new container terminal
New deep-water container terminal will allow shipping lines, importers & global shippers to access the UK’s major centres via the most economic and greenest route.
Peel Ports announced it has commenced the procurement phase for the construction of its new deep-water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool.
It was also revealed that the landmark terminal, which will bring some of the world’s largest container ships to the Mersey, will be branded Liverpool 2 - and will be open for business in 2015, providing shippers and lines with a new and direct route to the heart of the UK.The new terminal will accommodate two vessels of up to 13,500 teu at a time. It will allow shipping lines to connect to the UK’s major trade centres in the most cost efficient manner. It will also facilitate improved trans-shipment links to Ireland and Scotland through Liverpool’s existing services, allowing shipping lines to benefit from a lower cost, reduced transit time and higher frequency service whilst enabling an equalisation of equipment imbalances that exist around the British Isles.Importers and exporters will also benefit as the terminal will enable a much cheaper route to market whilst simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of the total journey. These benefits arise from the significant reduction in land-based mileage that result from the container terminal being located in the centre of the British Isles.This will be the largest boost to employment creation and the local economy since the development of the Liverpool ONE city centre retail complex, delivering over 5000 jobs.
Advertisements for the project were today published in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union – a statutory obligation for a contract of this size.
Liverpool 2, which will have an estimated overall cost in excess of £300m, is the key project in the Mersey Ports Master Plan, the 20-year vision for growth and future developments at the Port of Liverpool and on the Manchester Ship Canal – launched by Peel Ports last summer.
The development consists of the construction of a new deep water container terminal in the River Mersey, thus avoiding the vessel size restrictions of the current container terminal.
Liverpool 2 will connect directly to a number of port centric logistics hubs along the Manchester Ship Canal via barge - resulting in the development of the UK’s first “green logistics hub” which will reduce costs, congestion and carbon footprint for businesses located in the North West of England, serving the North of the UK.This will allow global shippers to access the UK’s major import centres via the most economic and lowest carbon route and provide Northern-based exporters with a more competitive route to market.Peel Ports Mersey Managing Director Gary Hodgson said: “There is no doubt that this facility represents a transformational project for the business. It will bring jobs and economic prosperity to the Merseyside region along with the rest of the North West. The scale of these benefits is recognised by the name Liverpool 2 - with the new terminal being the biggest boost to the area since the construction of the Liverpool ONE development in 2008. We believe it is an appropriate brand, and one that will become known throughout the world as our new container terminal brings customers to the North West from all points of the compass from South America to the Far East.“By any standard it is a significant development and a major investment. By commencing the procurement process today, we have shown our commitment to the building of Liverpool 2. “This is a clear message to the industry, to our stakeholders and to the community in the Merseyside Region and the greater North West that we are serious about the growth and investment we outlined in the Mersey Ports Master Plan consultation last year. It is great news for our customers and for the people of the North West of England, both of whom will see massive benefits from Liverpool 2.” Hodgson assured the local community that the impact of construction will be minimised whilst the benefit is maximised. He said: “Where possible, we will source goods and services locally, however when we need to source goods over a longer distance, we will seek to transport construction materials by sea directly to the Port.”The construction programme comprises of a new 854 metre quay wall, the in-filling of the newly created land-mass, the dredging of a new 16.5 metre deep berthing pocket adjacent to the quay wall, the installation of ship to shore quay cranes and modern cantilever rail mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) and associated supporting infrastructure works.Specifically the advertisements issued today are for:
Coleman said: “The commencement of the procurement process is a landmark stage in the development of the Liverpool 2 container terminal, and we anticipate massive interest from companies throughout the ports construction industry. This is a technically complex project, but eminently achievable.”
Coleman also explained the thinking behind the use of CRMGs instead of the more traditional straddle carriers. He said: “CRMGs are a highly-efficient use of space. We have given this great thought, and the adoption of CRMG technology also means that ships are going to be serviced very quickly. They are more modern than our current straddle carrier operation, and are a high-technology solution.
This will be one of the UK’s most modern container terminals, and that includes the crane technology. The sheer scale of the Liverpool 2 project can be shown by the quantities of materials which are needed in the construction phase – with the quay wall requiring 30,000 metres3 of concrete, 15,000 metres of steel piles and 6100 metres of new crane rails.
Dredging of the berthing pocket will remove around one million metres3 of material from the Mersey; and almost three million metres3 of infill material will be required to create the new container area. Associated infrastructure will require the construction of 3500 metres of new road, 230,000 metres2 of surfacing and 2500 metres of fencing.
Peel Ports and Quality Freight Re-Open Ellesmere Port Rail Head
Peel Ports Mersey and Quality Freight Group have combined to re-open the rail head at Ellesmere Port on the Manchester Ship Canal – 20 years after it closed.
The first train to use the new facility will arrive shortly before midnight on Thursday April 7, bringing a load of sand from Sibelco of King's Lynn destined for Quinn Glass of Elton, Cheshire.
This will be a regular twice-weekly service, running every Wednesday and Friday.
The re-opening is the result of substantial investment by the two companies in a receiving area and rail sidings – and Quality Freight has created two new jobs.
Manchester Ship Canal general manager Dean Hammond said: "The rail head creates a truly multi-modal facility at Ellesmere Port. Our strategy is to promote choice for our customers, and hence it is vital that the necessary infrastructure is available to effect modal shift where required."
"The Green agenda and increasing fuel costs have made rail attractive, removing congestion from the roads, with the Sibelco load now only having to travel the final five miles to its destination by road."
Quality Freight Group managing director Sebastian Gardiner, said: "This is a hugely exciting and historic development for Ellesmere Port and one which we know from the trials we have conducted is going to benefit customers enormously over the coming months and years.
"It is also the latest development of our growing relationship with Peel Ports Mersey at Ellesmere Port."
"We anticipate a significant increase in new rail volume during 2011 to further enhance the local rail freight network established by Peel to carry coal."
Gardiner said that talks were already underway with more potential users, with a car option being trialled.< Back to latest news
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