Stena Line, ABP ink £100M deal for new ferry terminal in Immingham

Swedish ferry operator Stena Line and UK ports group Associated British Ports (ABP) have entered into an agreement to jointly develop a new freight terminal at the Port of Immingham in the Humber region.

Photo: Stena Line

The £100 million (about $136.4 million) agreement will see the ferry company operate the new terminal for the next 50 years.

It is a major long-term commitment and boost for the region, where freight on routes to and from the EU has been booming since Brexit.

Stena Line is one of the largest ferry operators in the world with 18 routes, and 37 vessels, operating between 13 countries across Northern Europe. It currently runs four daily freight services from the Humber to The Netherlands. These services are now in greater demand than ever before and are expected to increase further. 2021 saw the company’s North Sea routes moving record levels of freight, this included a 28% year-on-year increase in unaccompanied freight, according to Stena Line.

At the start of the year, Stena Line relocated its Rotterdam freight service to the Port of Immingham, the largest port in the UK by tonnage, which is owned by ABP. The move has allowed the company to become the provider of both the terminal and shipping operations.

With freight levels continuing to grow for the company, Stena Line needs to add capacity and expand its operations at Immingham. It requires a long-term solution that has access to the main Humber Estuary. This would allow for quicker sailing times and the option to use larger vessels to cater for increased freight demand from exporters and importers from across the region and the rest of the UK.

The proposals outline the relocation of Stena Line’s current Immingham freight operations to a new site, adjacent to Immingham Outer Harbour, where ABP will develop a new purpose built terminal facility. The proposals will allow the company to further expand its services by providing increased freight capacity for its customers. It said to be a significant infrastructure development for the region.

“We are very pleased to announce that we will now take the next steps in the strategic vision for our routes between the UK and Continental Europe. Our freight levels are at record levels and are continuing to increase, so we want to build on this success and provide additional services … with the development of a brand new terminal and berths at the Port of Immingham,” Niclas Martensson, Chief Executive Officer of Stena Line, said.

“Stena Line is pledging a significant long-term commitment that will bring a substantial boost to the region’s economy in terms of jobs and revenue. We look forward to working with Associated British Ports to develop this exciting project.”

ABP intends to submit an application for a Development Consent Order to the Secretary of State for Transport in early summer with a view to the new terminal facilities being operational in 2025.