Maritime Minister visits new Port to see progress

Friday 24th January 2020

Nusrat Ghani MP, Maritime Minister, visited the Port of Tilbury – London’s major port – today for an overview of the Forth Ports Group’s flagship investment – the new 160 acre port terminal, Tilbury2 – alongside the community outreach, employment and re-training programmes to support former armed forces personnel and their families get back-to-work, utilising the Tilbury on the Thames Trust’s high-tech simulator suite.

The Minister also met two female graduate trainees and heard about the Group’s efforts to promote greater gender diversity, as part of the Women in Maritime initiative.

The Minister was also briefed on Tilbury’s network of short-sea container routes to northern and southern Europe, including the latest addition – a weekly service to Portugal (Lisbon and Leixões) operated by Samskip / X-Press Containerised, predominantly for fresh produce, beverages and manufactured goods.

The £250m Tilbury2 project consists of the construction of a new port terminal and associated facilities on land at the former Tilbury Power Station on the north bank of the River Thames at Tilbury. When operational in April 2020, Tilbury2 will be the UK’s largest unaccompanied freight ferry port, the country’s biggest construction processing hub and will see the creation of a new significantly larger rail head which can accommodate the longest freight trains of 775m. The site will be trusted trader Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) accredited and will employ the latest border technology, such as number plate recognition. The marine and terrestrial construction programme is being delivered by GRAHAM.
The project is central to the Port of Tilbury’s £1 billion investment programme during 2012-20, which has seen it double the size of its business in the past 10 years and is projected to double the volume of cargo across the quay (from 16 million to 32 million tonnes) and increase direct employment (from 3,500 to 12,000 jobs) over the next 10-15 years.

“Our new port is nearing completion at a crucial time as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. Harnessing the best-in-class border processes, Tilbury2 will be Brexit ready when the first ship docks at the start of April,” commented Charles Hammond, Chief Executive of Forth Ports.

Nusrat Ghani MP, Maritime Minister, said: “Ports are at the heart of the UK’s economy and I was delighted to visit the Port of Tilbury today and see the progress being made with Tilbury2 after the major development was recently given the go-ahead by the Department for Transport.

“This is an impressive example of how we are supporting our ports to harness talent, boosting diversity and taking advantage of technologies to bolster the capabilities of nearly 30,000 people who work at the ports around the country.”

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Port of Tilbury celebrates prestigious planning excellence award win

Tuesday 26th November 2019

The Port of Tilbury scooped the inaugural National Infrastructure Planning Association Award for “Best Project” at the organisation’s awards celebration in London on 21 November for Tilbury 2.

The judges praised the team behind the DCO planning process of the new port Tilbury2 which is currently under construction and due to open in 2020. The inaugural single award by NIPA recognises best practice in participating in the Development Consent Order Process (DCO) for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

Celebrating the award success, Peter Ward, Commercial Director at The Port of Tilbury, said: “We are thrilled to have received this prestigious award from NIPA. Throughout the DCO process for Tilbury2 we wanted to ensure that best practice was paramount and we worked hard to engage fully with all our stakeholders. This win is testament to the hard work of all our team at Tilbury and our excellent team of professional advisors. Tilbury2 is our largest investment project and is key to the future success of our business.”

Angus Walker, NIPA Board Chair, commented: “NIPA is delighted, that after a thorough independent two-stage judging process, the Tilbury2 project was judged to be the winner of the inaugural National Infrastructure Planning Association Award. The Award is yet another way that NIPA identifies and shares best practice in the planning, development and delivery of nationally significant infrastructure projects, and we will be publishing case studies of the shortlisted entries shortly. Many congratulations to the Port of Tilbury and their Tilbury2 team, and our thanks to all of those who submitted entries.”

Tilbury2 is under construction on 150 acres of land at the former Tilbury Power Station on the north bank of the River Thames at Tilbury. When operational in Spring 2020, Tilbury2 will be the UK’s largest unaccompanied ro-ro freight ferry port, the country’s biggest construction processing hub managed by Tarmac, and will see the creation of a new rail head which can accommodate the longest freight trains of 775 metres.

The project is central to the Port of Tilbury’s £1 billion investment programme during 2012-20, which has seen it double the size of its business in the past 10 years and is projected to double the volume of cargo across the quay (from 16 million to 32 million tonnes) and increase direct employment (from 3,500 to 12,000 jobs) over the next 10-15 years.

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Wildlife study finds habitat created by the Port of Tilbury is now a site of national importance for invertebrates

Tuesday 15th October 2019

A wildlife area created six years ago to offset losses of habitat from the development of the London Distribution Park (LDP) at Tilbury, has proved so successful it has been ranked by one of Britain’s foremost entomological consultants as of national importance for insects and other invertebrates.

The site at Mucking Landfill was created in 2013 by spreading chalk slurry over an area equivalent to six football pitches and then placing ‘dunes’ made from waste fly ash and chalk bunds on the top. By agreement with the owners of the landfill site, Enovert South, it was then left unmanaged and allowed to develop naturally.

Monitoring studies last year found that the new habitats already supported a proportionally higher number of rare and scarce invertebrate species than had been found at the LDP site in 2011, prior to development.

Dr Mark G. Telfer, an independent entomological consultant, recorded 236 invertebrate species in the new habitat in 2018. Of these, 15% are deemed to be rare, scarce or have a threatened or near threatened conservation status. Further analysis has shown that the new habitat supports an exceptionally high quality ‘bare sand and chalk’ assemblage of species.

Ecologists will continue to monitor the site but as the initial study has been so successful the report recommends creating additional invertebrate habitats at Mucking – a scheme that is now in process to offset impacts from the Tilbury 2 development on the site of the former Tilbury Power Station.

Ecologists Bioscan UK Limited designed the wildlife area on behalf of the Port of Tilbury.

 Peter Ward, Commercial Director at Port of Tilbury, said: “The results of this study are fascinating and I am really pleased the habitat has been deemed so successful that it is now considered of national importance.

 “We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously at the Port of Tilbury and it is clear that this habitat at Mucking Landfill is supporting a remarkable richness and abundance of species while succeeding at what it was set up to do – offsetting the losses incurred from the development of LDP.

 “We will continue to work with Bioscan on future studies and hope to replicate a similar study to coincide with Tilbury 2.”

 Dominic Woodfield, Managing Director at Bioscan UK Limited, said: “The Thames Estuary is a known hotspot for rare invertebrates, but many of these species are increasingly restricted to post-industrial or brownfield sites which are often identified for redevelopment.

 “The need for an offset scheme to ensure no net loss of biodiversity from the development of the LDP presented an opportunity to try and create those post-industrial conditions from scratch.

 “We deliberately used selected waste materials from construction and industrial processes that we knew would create the right physical and chemical conditions and designed the scheme so that these would be placed and shaped in a way that would maximise their potential.”

 Mark Silvester, CEO at Enovert, said: “Restoration of Enovert’s Mucking Landfill site and the country park will benefit hugely from the valuable habitat gained from inclusion of the LDP and Tilbury 2 offset schemes. The success achieved following importation and placement of the LDP material shows how important a part landfill restoration schemes can play in delivering improved biodiversity at both a local and national level.

 “We’re delighted that the Mucking site is now home to one of the UK’s most important wildlife areas. The long-term management of this very special and important site will continue to be supported by the Enovert Community Trust in partnership with the Essex Wildlife Trust.”

 Marc Outten, Area Manager South East at Essex Wildlife Trust, said: “The results from the 2018 surveys are extremely exciting and further highlight the importance of the Thames Gateway for invertebrates of which many are rare or endangered. The partnership between the key stakeholders will not only maintain that these threatened creatures continue to have a stronghold at Mucking and along the Thames, but also the chance to reconnect local communities with these important species and the natural environment in which they live.”   

Image of a Bombardier Beetle (Brachinus crepitans) found at the habitat.

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