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P&O to develop UK's largest container terminal at Shell Haven

The following Press Release was issued jointly by P&O and Shell on 4 September 2000

An agreement will be signed today between The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) and Shell UK Limited (Shell) which is expected to lead to the regeneration and redevelopment of the former refinery site at Shell Haven in Thurrock, Essex into a new world class container port.

The 1,500 acre former refinery has the potential to become one of P&O’s largest port operations worldwide. It is estimated that when fully developed the port could handle up to 3.5 million teu each year with 3000m of quay line providing berths for up to 10 vessels. The surrounding land will be developed to provide port related services including sea, road and rail distribution activities as well as commercial and light industrial operations. It is estimated that, when completed, the port and associated developments could create up to 10,000 new jobs.

Under the agreement, and subject to the necessary planning consents, P&O will purchase the freehold land required for the container terminal development and will jointly develop with Shell the remainder of the site. Initial operations on site could begin as early as 2002 with further stages developed in accordance with market demand.

Lord Sterling, Chairman of P&O, said. "At current growth rates, existing UK container ports will have reached capacity in the next three to five years. For the country to continue to benefit from its position at the heart of world trade we need a significant increase in container terminal facilities – and Shell Haven has this potential."

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Shell, The Port of London Authority and Thurrock Council to realise this exciting project and deliver a major new regeneration project that meets the Government’s objectives for brownfield site use."

Paul Skinner, Group Managing Director of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group and CEO of Oil Products, said. " This is a significant step in the regeneration of Shell Haven. Shell has worked closely with the local regulators to secure a future for the site and we believe this agreement with P&O, who have outstanding experience in such development projects, is an important milestone in achieving that goal."

Sir Brian Shaw, Chairman of the Port of London Authority, commented: "We have known for some time that the capacity for London to grow further trading opportunities was inhibited by the lack of suitable sites. This proposal opens the way for new international business on a scale rarely seen in the south eastern corner of the UK in the last 50 years."

The next phase of the project is to move forward in full consultation with all interested parties to seek planning approvals for the port and property development. Shell is currently undertaking a programme of decommissioning, demolition and decontamination to prepare the site for future use.

For further information contact:



Victoria Moth

Kate Hill

P&O Corporate Affairs

Shell Media Relations

020 7930 4343

020 7934 2914