Work begins on £2.76m investment at Port of Newport

Matthew Kennerley, Director of Associated British Ports, centre, with Mark Elliott, Projects Manager for ABP South Wales, left, and Glyn Duggan, Project Manager for Scotts at the redevelopment in Newport Docks

Work has officially started on a £2.76m project to redevelop Atlantic Shed at the Port of Newport, as part of a £10 million series of investments Associated British Ports (ABP) has undertaken during the last 18 months to help it accommodate increasing cargo volumes.

ABP, owner and operator of the Port of Newport, has appointed local construction contractor, Andrew Scott, to deliver the project. Once complete, it will provide an additional 7,200 square metres of covered storage for the port, principally for the steel industry.

Supporting 3,000 local jobs and contributing £186 million per annum to the Welsh economy, the Port of Newport is Wales’ leading general cargo port and the second largest conventional steel port in the UK. During 2014, the port handled 1.85 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of more than 20% in the amount it handled compared with 2013. There was significant growth in steel imports and exports, as well as the agricultural sector with the handling of bulk products such as fertiliser, grain and animal feed also increasing.

Commenting on the investment, Matthew Kennerley, director of ABP south Wales, said: “The Port of Newport is regarded as a major port within south Wales, but also in a UK-wide context due, in part, to its ability to handle deep sea vessels of up to 40,000 tonnes. It supports the manufacturing, construction and agricultural sectors across the UK and is a crucial hub for Welsh and UK industries who want to access growing deep sea markets across the world.

“We are committed to ensuring that our facilities are fit-for-purpose and able to accommodate greater cargo volumes and adapt to the increasing commercial demands of our existing and potential customers.

“We are pleased to have appointed a local supplier to redevelop Atlantic Shed, ensuring that our links with the local community remain as we continue to evolve our operations to meet an ever-changing marketplace.”

Mark Bowen, managing director of Andrew Scott, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed principal contractor for the redevelopment of Atlantic Shed, which reinforces our long standing relationship with ABP.

“The project also allows us to sustain our commitment to creating employment and training opportunities in Newport, having previously completed a new rail bridge for ABP, the new stand at Rodney Parade, the 2010 Ryder Club House at the Celtic Manor and Celtic Springs Business Park.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with ABP and playing our part in providing social and economic benefits to Newport.”

The Port of Newport consists of two docks, North and South, and encloses a water area of 125 acres and a land area of 685 acres. Its tenants span the steel, construction agriculture, manufacturing and power generation sectors.  Other key investments at the Port of Newport over the last 18 months include £3.3m on renewable energy projects, £1.7 million on a new rail bridge, £1.6 million on a new mobile harbour crane and £1.1 million on quay strengthening works.