Port of Blyth crane manoeuvre marks latest in Enterprise Zone development

A 100-tonne lift capacity crane was moved across the River Blyth as part of plans to develop the Port for offshore companies

The 100 tonne mobile port crane at Port of Blyth's Wimbourne quay
The 100 tonne mobile port crane at Port of Blyth's Wimbourne quay

PLANS to develop the Port of Blyth as a base for offshore energy companies have taken a major step forward with the careful manoeuvre of a large mobile crane across the River Blyth.

It took 24 hours for a team of engineers from Cramlington-based barge operator Osprey Marine to transport the Sennebogen heavy lift crane across the River Blyth and into position at the Port’s Wimbourne Quay site.

The manoeuvre means all four of the Port’s main terminals have 100 tonne lift capacity — a crucial feature in attracting companies that need to mobilise and demobilise heavy equipment for use in the North Sea.

Port of Blyth has already been successful in attracting a £6m, 15-million litre capacity Marine Fuel Terminal operated by Geos Group to its Enterprise Zone site.

It is also home to aluminium boat builder, Alnmaritec, a supplier for the offshore energy industry, and the Port’s subsidiary export packing business, Transped.

The site comprises up to seven hectares of development land adjacent to strengthened deep water quays.

The 100 tonne mobile port crane at Port of Blyth's Wimbourne quay
The 100 tonne mobile port crane at Port of Blyth's Wimbourne quay

Port chief executive Martin Lawlor said: “The relocation of this crane is another step forward in the ongoing redevelopment of the site which has been gathering pace over the last couple of years.

“With plenty of prime development land remaining and the advantage of Enterprise Status, we continue to generate firm interest and I am sure the growing cluster of offshore energy related activities around the estuary will continue to strengthen.”

The Enterprize Zone comprises four sites within the Blyth Estuary Renewable Energy Zone (BEREZ): East Sleekburn, Bates/Wimbourne Quay, Commissioners Quay and Dun Cow.

Different areas of the Zone offer prospective tenants various financial incentives including the likes of business rates relief, enhanced capital allowances for investment in plant and machinery and growth funding.

The Sennebogen crane will service the Bates and Wimbourne Quay terminals.

Late last year the Port of Blyth also struck a deal with Northumberland neighbours IHC Engineering Business to host the firm as it constructs a 2,500-tonne vessel pipe laying system, which will eventually be shipped to form part of an offshore construction vessel being assembled by Petroface.

Around 60 jobs were estimated to be created as a result of the multi-million pound project, which is based at the Port’s South Harbour site, occupying a large assembly shed and adjacent compound close to a deep water quay for load out.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer