Theresa Villiers, Minister of State for Transport, took to the water today on a fact finding visit to the Port of Tyne, one of the UK’s major deep sea ports.
As well as being the seventh largest car handling port in Europe, Port of Tyne is leading developments in renewable energy.
The visit provided the opportunity for the Minister to see some of the recent major investments at the Port, where over £100m has been invested in recent years to ensure the Port remains vibrant and sustainable.
The view from the river enabled the minister to see the ports car terminals, multipurpose quay, international passenger terminal and bulk cargo facilities.
Ms Villiers said: "I was delighted to see the great work being done at Port of Tyne – in particular the diversity of its business and the lead it is taking in renewable energy. I was also pleased to see the developments in car shipments, and to hear about the first of the new energy conscious cars such as Nissan’s new Leaf coming into the UK through the Port of Tyne."
The visit follows the recent visit by Shipping Minister Mike Penning who took a tour of the port in February.
Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Tyne, said: "It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister to the Port of Tyne and to have the opportunity to demonstrate the integral role the Port plays in the infrastructure of the region, and the contribution it makes to the businesses and enterprise that will be the core of the region’s – and the UK’s – growth for the future.
"The investments we have made have supported growth in the car, container and bulk cargo divisions and we are pleased with the progress so far. The future developments in renewable energy are key to regional growth and we are therefore investing further in these areas. The potential with offshore wind turbine manufacturing is huge for the River Tyne and the Port will continue to play a major role in helping to drive this business to the region."
The Port of Tyne has invested more than £100m into its 600 acre site spanning both banks of the Tyne at North and South Shields. The Port recently opened the biggest biomass storage and handling facility in Europe and has become one of the busiest Ports for handling cars.
A third car terminal was opened last year and car import and export numbers reached record levels, with over 500,000 cars moving through the Port of Tyne in 2010.
Major works to deepen Riverside Quay means the Port is now receiving some of the world’s largest bulk cargo vessels and its container business is also growing rapidly – on track to have its most successful year yet – with many goods transported on to their final destination by the Port’s own distribution fleet.