Photo: Tilbury 2

UK’s new unaccompanied roro terminal at Tilbury2 passes ship trial

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The UK’s newest and largest unaccompanied freight roll on/roll off (ro-ro) terminal at Tilbury2 took a step closer to opening with the successful completion of ship trials at the weekend.

Two of P&O’s chartered freight ferry fleet, the Bore Song and the Norstream, arrived at the new ro-ro terminal on the Thames on Sunday, May 17, where the port team carried out a full test of the marine facilities including manoeuvring and tying up the ship to test the berth; lowering the ship’s ferry ramp to test the pontoon facilities; and carrying out a full risk assessment.

The port operator said that the “ship trial was deemed a success with a smooth execution of all the test points being achieved.”

The ferry terminal, which is due to open next week, has a capacity of 500,000 units and will operate in partnership between the port and P&O Ferries importing and exporting containers and trailers with food, drink, medicines and other vital supplies to-and-from Europe.

“We are in unprecedented times, both in the UK and globally, and this new unaccompanied terminal at Tilbury2 will ensure that we keep the vital supplies coming into the country as safely as possible, not just now but long into the future,” Charles Hammond, Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports, said.

“Being a freight-only terminal ensures that there is less risk of driver infection and exposure for our own quay workers at the port. The additional capacity of 500,000 units with streamlined customs procedures will enhance national economic resilience I would like to thank our excellent team for achieving this milestone in such challenging times.”

The new berth will make our service faster and will guarantee that goods from Europe can be unloaded and continue their journey onto the M25 before the rush hour – a significant benefit for our customers,” Janette Bell, Chief Executive of P&O Ferries, said.

“Tilbury2 will further strengthen the unrivalled connectivity we offer our customers along the entire east coast of England and demonstrates our commitment to making trade flow during this crisis and beyond.”

The marine works for the new ro-ro terminal were completed in April by GRAHAM who are constructing both the marine and landside of the new £200m, 160-acre port.

Tilbury2 received development consent from the Secretary of State for Transport in February 2019 to build Tilbury2 – the new multimillion-pound port terminal adjacent to the current 930-acre site in Thurrock, on the outskirts of Greater London.

The £200m Tilbury2 project consists of the construction of a new port terminal and associated facilities.

Once fully open, Tilbury2 will comprise a roll on/roll off ferry terminal, a facility for importing, processing, manufacturing and distributing construction materials as well as a strategic rail terminal which can accommodate freight trains of 775m, in addition, to storage areas for a variety of goods, including exported and imported cars.

The project is central to the Port of Tilbury’s £1 billion investment programme during 2012-20, which has seen it double the size of its business in the past 10 years and is projected to double the volume of cargo across the quay (from 16 million to 32 million tonnes) and increase direct employment (from 3,500 to 12,000 jobs).