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Tilbury expansion supports Thames vision growth targets

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has welcomed news that Forth Ports is seeking expressions of interest from contractors in landside and marine works, worth some £80 million, for its proposed port expansion project, Tilbury2.

The Planning Inspectorate is considering Forth Ports’ application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the scheme, a 152 acre site which was part of the former Tilbury Power Station that will include a new deep water jetty in the river Thames. The site will be developed with a roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) freight ferry terminal, set to be operated by P&O Ferries and a construction materials and aggregates processing terminal.

Commenting on the project, PLA chief executive, Robin Mortimer, said: “When we launched the Thames Vision 18 months ago, we said the volume of trade handled at Thames terminals could grow from 50 million tonnes to up to 80 million tonnes, over the next twenty years. Investments like Tilbury2 are key to turning that Vision into reality – central to the long term growth of the Port of London.

“The power station was a major river user, handling over two million tonnes of coal a year, until it closed in 2012. The Tilbury2 project will bring this valuable riverside site back into use. And we know the demand is there – P&O Ferries has signed up for the riverside ro/ro berth, on the back of continued growth in demand for their existing service to Zeebrugge.”

P&O Ferries expects the move to the purpose-built berth on the Thames to treble its freight capacity to 600,000 units a year by 2020. Last month they reported carrying more freight between Zeebrugge and Tilbury in 2017 than in any other year in the history of the route.

Tilbury2 is a substantial part of Forth Port's £1bn expansion plans for Tilbury. The works contracts currently out to expressions of interest are expected to create over 200 construction jobs.

As part of Forth Ports’ application for the DCO, it is required to consult statutory consultees, including the PLA. The PLA is involved in the development of the Tilbury2 scheme through making representations around navigational, property and environmental matters, as part of the usual DCO process.

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Note to editors:

About the PLA

• The PLA works to ensure navigational safety along the tidal Thames, sharing its marine, environmental, planning and other expertise to promote use of the river and safeguard its unique marine environment.
• The tidal Thames is one of the UK’s busiest waterspaces and is home to the country’s second biggest port by tonnage of goods handled.

About the Thames Vision

• The Thames Vision is the framework for the development of the tidal Thames between now and 2035. It was developed with stakeholders over 18 months and launched in July 2016.
• The Vision sets out ambitions for sustainable growth in use of the river across port trade, inland waterways freight, passenger transport, alongside an improving environment and greater public engagement with the Thames.
• For more information: