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ABP aims to future proof Humber ports

Ports group unveils five-year plan to buy new cranes and refurbish existing ones.

Associated British Ports (ABP) is to invest £32 million over the next five years in new and existing equipment across it ports in the Humber region.

The plan will involve purchasing new cranes, the full refurbishment of existing cranage as well as investing in landside equipment at its four regional ports in the region: Hull, Goole, Grimsby and Immingham.

Focusing on plant and equipment that’s both environmentally friendly and sustainable, the investment will be split between mobile harbour cranes and hydraulic cranes.

One of the first will be the world’s largest hydraulic crane, the Mantsinen 300M, which is due at the port of Immingham in late April. A team of engineers from the Port of Immingham recently visited the Mantsinen factory in Finland to check on its build progress and to test the new crane simulator and see how it handles.

Simon Bird, Regional Director for the Humber ports said: “This significant investment shows the confidence we have to continue to grow and invest to ensure the Humber ports are future-proofed when it comes to the latest technology in cranes and cargo handling equipment.

“Our strategy is about ensuring we have a versatile mix of cranes to cargo mix and that we can provide additional capacity to meet growing volumes of cargo. As a port operator we remain resilient and give our customers what they need, and they want to know what we have is reliable and efficient.”

ABP recently invested in four new Konecranes reach stackers which run on hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) costing £1.6 million. Existing cranes set for refurbishment include the Butterley cranes built in the 1990s for the width of the locks in the ports of Immingham and Hull.

Future cranage requirements are still to to be confirmed but are expected to include both mobile harbour cranes and material handlers, with further reach stackers and forklifts being ordered.

Bulks, break bulks and project cargo are also part of the plans, including £16 million on maintenance capex on cargo handling landside within Immingham Container Terminal (ICT) and Hull Container Terminal (HCT), as well as the stocking of spare parts to build resilience.

ABP, which operates 21 ports in the UK, was recently granted outline planning consent for more than 4.25 million sq ft of industrial, manufacturing and logistics development at the Port of Hull. The 453 acres of prime land includes 212 acres located within the East Hull Humber Freeport Tax Assisted Zone.

Simon Bird, Regional Director for the Humber, said: “This is one of the premier development sites in the North of England. It’s an exciting opportunity and great to have planning permission so that Humber International Enterprise Park can now get up and running.

“The site offers huge potential to support business growth. Port-centric manufacturers and distributors would have easy access to import and export commodities while benefiting from the Humber Freeport status.”

The site is part of a tranche of more than 1,000 acres of development land the operator has earmarked across 14 locations.

ABP’s network of 21 ports handle around one quarter of the UK's seaborne trade, which equates to more than £150 billion a year.

  • Maritime