A fast-growing regional port has announced record-breaking turnover of £17.7m, with pre-tax profits increasing by over 30% to £0.72m.
Port of Blyth confirmed earlier indications that 2013 was to prove a record year and chief executive Martin Lawlor said: “We are clearly delighted with these results and are pleased to be able to present such positive figures.
“We are confident that we will continue to play an important role in the regional economy supporting jobs and acting as a catalyst for international trade.”
The strong performance was partly due to a sharp rise in offshore energy-related trade. Blyth is now firmly established as a significant hub for servicing the offshore energy sector as a whole.
Presenting his annual review, Lawlor revealed that cargo throughput has risen to over 1.7 million tonnes covering a wide range of sectors including offshore energy, containers, dry bulks and forest products.
He also highlighted a number of development schemes in the pipeline and a major new marine fuels terminal under build, due to open in the late summer. This is in partnership with Geos Group whose managing director Barry Newton said Blyth was chosen for its strategic location and ambitious expansion plans. Another scheme involves Lynemouth Power, which aims to convert to biomass by 2015.
Last month it was announced that massive investment plans for Port of Blyth were shelved when renewable energy developer RES pulled out of building a £300m biomass power station at the Bates Terminal in the Blyth estuary due to what it called ongoing uncertainty in the UK energy policy.
Lawlor said at the time: “It is disappointing but the RES scheme is one of a number of development schemes we had on the cards for the next two to three years. We have schemes both under build now and planned for this year and beyond. It doesn’t stop us continuing to expand and create economic activity around the Blyth Estuary.”