Golden days for town port

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PORT chiefs have looked back on their golden past - and hinted at an equally bright future for their Hartlepool site.

PD Ports has celebrated the 50th anniversary of Teesport, the sister dock of Hartlepool.

But company bosses say that, as well as reflecting on their history, they are planning for the future at both Teesport and Hartlepool docks.

That includes trying to capitalise on the work done in town on the Teesside Offshore Windfarm.

Hartlepool was the base while the work to build the 27-turbine windfarm was under way.

The town’s marina was the hub for the operations team during installation.

PD Ports chief executive David Robinson told the Hartlepool Mail: “We demonstrated a strong capacity to do this type of work and it shows we can support that type of operation in the short to medium term.”

The windfarm work also saw a boost to the local economy, said Mr Robinson.

“We had a large uplift of visitors. We saw something like an extra 500 to 600 people over six months who came in and helped us to service this contract. Not all of them were employed in Hartlepool, but all of them were economically active,” he added.

“The impact we had was the number of people coming in and out of the port and into the local economy.”

He said Hartlepool was well placed to compete in the renewable energy sector, with both Heerema and JDR Cables based in the port area.

He said: “Renewable energy is one of the big areas we are working in and we are looking to make progress there. Things are starting to move in biomass and wind energy.”

Anniversary celebrations are in full swing and bosses have met with workers and former staff in a series of dinners.

Mr Robinson said the celebration coincided with the good news that levels of cargo handled by Teesport increased by 10 per cent in the last year to 38 million tonnes.

He added; “It means that the success of the operation is starting to grow again.”

Mr Robinson said much of that was down demand for export work from the SSI steelworks in Redcar. He said the works was now having an effect on the full-year operating figure with exports of slabs increasing to three million tonnes and likely to rise to four million.