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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Forth Ports plans Grangemouth reefer investment

UK port operator Forth Ports Limited has announced plans for a 'six-figure''  investment to upgrade electric infrastructure at the Port of Grangemouth and allow expansion of refrigerated container (reefer) traffic via Scotland’s largest container terminal.

“Shipments of temperature controlled products are a critical and growing part of our business in Scotland and this exciting development ensures that Grangemouth will be well placed to support demand growth in this segment,” Mark Cornwell, operations manager for Maersk Line said.

The upgrade work will involve an increase in the number of specialist power supply points from the current 126 to 432. This move has been driven by demand from exporters who are keen to take advantage of significantly longer seasons for the shipping of produce such as potatoes, cheese, fish and seafood to global markets.

“Scotland has a growing reputation right across the world for the quality of our fresh produce and that’s resulted in increasing demand for reefer capacity. That’s good for the Scottish economy and good for business and we’re committed to investing in support of this growth through increasing our reefer capacity at the Port of Grangemouth,” Stuart Wallace, director of Scottish Operations at Forth Ports commented.

As Scotland's largest container port, the Port of Grangemouth handles over 155,000 TEU  per annum with regular services to Rotterdam, Antwerp, Felixstowe and Hamburg. The upgrade work will be carried out by Denholm Civil Contractors for civil works, David Mackay Welders for backing frame works and Kilbean Electrical  for installation and commissioning. Reefer point panels wil be supplied by Mennekes, distribution equipment by Blakley Electrics and installation materials by WJ Electrical. 

In June, Forth Ports announced a major major investment programme to increase the terminal’s general container storage capacity. Work will include construction of a heavy duty concrete pavement and additional storage lanes for laden containers with the investment designed to increase capacity at the terminal to 12,000 TEU.

Work on this project and the power supply upgrades is expected to be completed by October this year. Authorities are also considering deepening approach channels to 10 metres in order to allow larger vessels to dock.

“As a long term customer of both Forth Ports and the Port of Grangemouth we have seen how they have been able to understand and support both our needs and those of our customers and we look forward to collaborating further to encourage future growth in the Scottish economy,” Cornwell added.

Scottish government policy has backed investment in the country’s ports in recent years as part of a strategy to boost sea trade with Europe. Earlier this week, ministers visited Ullapool Harbour to inspect facilities upgraded as part of a £17 million project.

"The Scottish Government is making record levels of investment in Scotland’s infrastructure and a key advantage of holding roving Cabinet meetings outside Edinburgh is to listen and learn how we can continue to improve services and delivery,” Keith Brown Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities commented.

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