Peel to invest £10m in Port of Heysham upgrade
Port operator Peel Ports has revealed plans to invest millions and increase throughput at one of its Lancashire facilities.
The company is ploughing £10m into a new link-span bridge at the Port of Heysham near Lancaster, creating a fourth berth for freight and passenger traffic.
The investment, which Peel hopes will help operators respond more effectively to growing demand, will see a new pontoon built to support offshore crew transfer vessels along with a new port entrance and various IT improvements.
The eight-figure boost will allow the port to accommodate larger RoRo vessels – ships designed to carry wheeled cargo that can be driven on and off – operating on the Irish Sea.
Elsewhere, accessibility at the Port of Heysham is set to improve later this week with the opening of the Bay Gateway, a new link road connecting the port with the M6 that will allow hauliers to bypass congestion in nearby Lancaster.
Heysham is also forecast to benefit from the opening of Peel Ports’ £400m Liverpool2 deep-water container terminal.
David Huck, port director, said: “This is a transformational time for Heysham port. We’ve already been working with local partners to maximise the benefits of the Bay Gateway link road project to the community.
“Now our major investment to increase capacity and flexibility will further strengthen the port’s role as a logistics hub for the region, particularly for services to Ireland and the Isle of Man.”
He added: “We’ve also built in an element of future-proofing, giving us the ability to accommodate projected volumes for many years to come.”
Alistair Eagles, CEO of freight ferry operator Seatruck, commented: “We’re experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, more than three times the market rate.
“We recently added a larger vessel on the Dublin-Heysham service to help keep up with demand and a fourth vessel to one of our complementary services running between Dublin and Liverpool.”
He continued: “2016 will continue to be a pivotal year with the new link road, this new link-span and the potential for connections with the Liverpool2 container terminal and new regional distribution centres.
“These developments will support our ambitious targets and allow us to provide more frequent and larger services, especially given the interest in our unaccompanied cargo model.”
Work will start in November and is due for completion by October 2017.