Construction of Tilbury2 is scheduled to start within weeks now that the secretary of state for transport has signed the development consent order.
Tilbury2 will be built at a cost of more than £200m on a site covering 152 acres, which was part of the former Tilbury power station.
The Port of Tilbury is already the largest multi-modal port in the southeast, and third largest port in the UK, with an annual throughput of 16 million tonnes per annum. Set to be operational in spring 2020, Tilbury2 will be the UK’s largest unaccompanied ferry port and its biggest construction processing hub. It will act as a satellite of the main port.
Forth Ports Group, owner of the Port of Tilbury, said that expansion is essential there to cope with rising demand for construction materials and aggregates from Britain’s construction sector, imported and exported cars, as well as an increase in commercial ferry traffic, which carries consumer goods, perishables (food and drink) and steel between Europe and the UK.
Construction works include a new rail and road connection and a deep water jetty and pontoon in the river Thames. The chosen contractor has yet to be formally revealed.
Tilbury2 will comprise:
- a roll on/roll off ferry terminal for importing and exporting containers and trailers to northern Europe, in partnership with P&O Ferries
- a facility for importing, processing, manufacturing and distributing construction materials
- a strategic rail terminal that can accommodate the longest freight trains of 775 metres
- storage areas, including for exported and imported cars.
Tilbury2 is part of the Port of Tilbury’s £1bn investment programme between 2012 and 2020. Tilbury has doubled the size of its business in the past 10 years and is projected to double the volume of cargo across the quay to 32 million tonnes a year over the next 10-15 years.
Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports Group, said: “This is great news for the UK at a time when the country needs its ports more than ever before. Tilbury2 will deliver much needed port capacity to support businesses importing and exporting to and from Europe and the rest of the world. The terminal will be fit-for-purpose for the UK’s departure from the European Union, utilising the latest technology and streamlined border processes, in support of continued market demand created by business growth.”