PORT of Sunderland is celebrating after securing its largest financial contract this year.
The deal is seen as the latest success it what has been a bumper year for the facility
Bosses have just signed a storage and offshore cable base contract with energy company E.ON, which will see the port take delivery of two, 600 tonne substations in November, as part of a Humber Gateway Windfarm project.
The project, will also see an offshore cable lay vessel, and offshore barge, based at the port.
The substations, which will stay at the port for six to 12 months, will be delivered via barge, before being transported by self-propelled trailers to a temporary base.
A spokeswoman for the Port of Sunderland said the value of the deal cannot be revealed for commercial reasons.
But, Port director Matthew Hunt, said: “The E.ON contract is an exciting opportunity for the Port of Sunderland, with a very visible workscope which allows us to demonstrate our ultra-large cargo handling capability.”
He added that the ability to attract an international company like E.ON to the port was fantastic. “We are confident that we can build upon this and further cement Sunderland’s reputation as a progressive and responsive port able to compete on a national and international scale.
“E.ON is a globally respected company and it’s a pleasure to be able to accommodate their storage requirements.”
Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said the deal is a move in the right direction.
“It’s a positive step forward for Port of Sunderland to see a company operating on an international scale call on them for such a large storage project,” he said.
“Reconfiguration work has come a long way at the port, and the line-up of developments that have taken place to enhance our offer to customers have no doubt helped to position it as an appealing base for many companies.”
Bumper year, according to figures
THE Port has recorded its busiest year since shipbuilding ended in December 1988.
Most recent data shows that traffic has increased into the docks by 84 per cent.
The figures, the port says, reflect a change in line with the launch of a growth plan and investment.
In July this year, the city council-owned facility took delivery of a new Liebherr mobile crane with a lifting capability of 121 tonnes – more than double that of the Port’s current crane – which will travel from Corporation Quay round the port to Greenwells Quay.
Port director Matthew Hunt said the new acquisition would join a crane bought last year, which was already paying for itself.