THE aim of creating a vibrant and sustainable port lies at the very the heart of the Port of Tyne's business strategy. And two important developments certainly tick the sustainable box.
At the Port of Tyne's annual general meeting, Insight, earlier this year chief executive Andrew Moffat hinted that exciting opportunities were being assessed and developed.
The port had already been assessing new potential opportunities in the areas of renewable energy when MGT Power approached it last year with a proposal to develop a biomass power station on land owned by the port on the north side of the river Tyne.
The result of this approach was the announcement by MGT Power and North Tyneside Council last month of plans for the construction of a 295MW biomass power station.
The Tyne Renewable Energy Plant is to be built on land owned by the Port of Tyne to the west of Whitehill Point.
Subject to planning approval this major plant, generating power from sustainable sources of biomass, is targeted for commercial operation in 2014.
The biomass feedstock will be sourced from certified sustainable forestry projects developed by the MGT Power team and partners in North and South America and the Baltic States, and in the longer-term UK sources.
Strategically, this development represents a major long term investment that will take full advantage of the Port of Tyne's excellent facilities, infrastructure and manpower.
Another important development for the port is the infilling of Tyne Dock to increase the land available for port operations. Last year the port held discussions with Bouygues Travaux Publics about recycling the spoil from the construction of the second Tyne Tunnel to infill Tyne Dock.
Approval has been given for the port of pump the spoil direct from the trench that is to be dredged for the new tunnel to Tyne Dock. This technique creates less sediment plume within the river and reduces the amount of lorry movements that would have been required to transport the dredged material. It also means that the material is beneficially reused rather than disposed of on land or at sea as waste.
There is no doubt that the Port of Tyne, with its forward thinking strategies and commitment to the North East region, is well on target to succeed in its mission: to create a vibrant and sustainable Port of Tyne.