ABP reports record grain exports at the ports of Ipswich and King’s Lynn

The Orwell Bulk Terminal which opened at the Port of Ipswich in June this year.
Photo: Associated B

The Orwell Bulk Terminal which opened at the Port of Ipswich in June this year. Photo: Associated British Ports - Credit: Archant

The Port of Ipswich handled a record volume of grain exports last month following major investment by owner Associated British Ports and its customers.

A total of 119,548 tonnes of grain were exported through the Ipswich Grain Terminal and Clarkson Port Services facilities at the port, the highest ever total for August.

The figure, beating the previous record of 107,400 tonnes achieved in August 2003, was boosted by the opening in June this year of the new £2.2million Orwell Bulk Terminal, a 3,700 square metre warehouse for agri-bulk products which has replaced for former Number 3 shed at Cliff Quay.

Tim Capey, operations director at grain supply trade specialist Nidera UK, which is based in Ipswich and is a member of the EADT/EDP Top 100 listing, said: “Our expansion and investment continues at a rapid rate reflecting the importance of Ipswich Grain Terminal to the region’s farmers as a major facility for the export of grain.

“The company is part way through a £1m investment programme. In the last year alone, we have invested over £500,000 in state-of-the-art intake facilities capable of handling 400 tonnes of grain an hour and a 32.5-metre mobile loading elevator to support shipside operations.”

ABP’s Port of King’s Lynn also achieved a record volume of grain exports last month, with more than 47,400 tonnes being handled on behalf of FennGrain and Openfield, topping the previous record by 715 tonnes.

This increase also follows investment by ABP and its customers, in both storage facilities and handling equipment which has resulted in handling speeds doubling from 75 tonnes to 150 tonnes per hour.

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Andrew Harston, ABP’s short sea ports director – who role includes the group’s three ports in East Anglia, Ipswich, Lowestoft and King’s Lynn – said: “This impressive performance reaffirms both our commitment to the region and to delivering a high level of customer service.

“The grain season is only two months in, and we look forward to working with our customers to grow these numbers still further.

“Our investment in the East Anglian ports is continuing to reap benefits. The record numbers we have seen in August are a testament to the roles that ports play in supporting not just the region’s farmers but the wider UK economy, and underlines our commitment to keeping Britain trading.”