In 2018, ABP South Wales saw an increase in the amount of cargo handled across several commodities as a result of continued investment in infrastructure and services.
Year-on-year growth was seen in the volume of cargo handled in several sectors in 2018. Chemicals products and Steel volumes were both 10% up on 2017, while Coal increased by 38%. Timber to support the regional construction trade saw a 22% increase in imports. While the import and export of Mineral Products doubled in volume compared to the previous year, registering a rise of 102%.
The port of Swansea continued to support local wind energy projects throughout 2018. The port handled turbine components for Mynydd y Gwair, a 16 turbine wind energy project located 15km north of Swansea.
Matthew Kennerley, Director, ABP South Wales, said: “Continued investment in our five ports has given both new and longstanding customers the support they need to grow their businesses.
“Our ports are vital strategic assets for the region and represent a unique logistical network for South Wales. ABP South Wales annually contributes £1.5 billion to the UK economy while supporting 21,800 jobs across the nation.”
Several new businesses were welcomed to the ports in 2018. Notably, in October 2018, Dragon Asphalt leased a 2 acre site at the Port of Newport. This long-term lease has allowed them to open their first site and to service local markets.
Existing customers’ businesses also continued to grow at the ports. In June 2018, Puma Energy (UK) moved from Cardiff to a larger site in Newport. The new site has provided them with additional operational flexibility and the ability to accommodate larger vessels.
Investments were also made into key pieces of infrastructure across the ports. In July 2018, a £2.7 million project was completed to renew the outer lock gates and refurbish the middle lock gates at the Port of Newport. The work will protect the dock impoundment and locking operation for at least the next 60 years.
At the Port of Cardiff, £400k was invested in new engineering facilities that opened in September 2018. The new state-of-the-art 1200 sqm workshop provides additional and improved space for the engineering department to undertake servicing and maintenance of the operational equipment used by stevedores to load and discharge customer vessels.
A £1.3 million investment was also made with the purchase of a new “Multidocker” materials handler to supplement the ports existing array of quayside and mobile cranes.