A UK manufacturer is set to invest millions and create scores of new manufacturing and distribution jobs with the opening of a new purpose-built terminal at Port of Sunderland.
Brineflow Limited, a leading manufacturer of liquid nitrogen fertilisers, has been granted permission by Sunderland City Council to construct a new base at the port with an initial capacity of handling 50,000 tonnes per year.
The hub will see Brineflow import and store liquid fertiliser for the agricultural industry in the North East and the Borders, breathing new commercial life into disused land at Youngs Quay in the port.
The Great Yarmouth-headquartered company identified Port of Sunderland as a potential site due to its strategic location on the East Coast with proximity to strategic suppliers in the Baltic States and for larger cargoes trans-shipped in Rotterdam and other European ports.
John Fuller OBE, Chairman of Brineflow, said: “The Liquid fertiliser market is growing fast as farms increase in size and become more mechanised.
“Liquid fertilisers have many environmental advantages compared with the solid fertilisers traditionally used in the UK partly because they do away with the single-use plastic fertiliser bags.
“They are safer to use and store and farmers can apply even in windy conditions which helps them manage their crops in the most timely manner.
Another key influencer in Brineflow’s decision to invest in Port of Sunderland was the improved transport links connecting the port to the region’s major road networks, such as the A19 and the A1.
The opening of the Northern Spire bridge – coupled with the improvement of surrounding roads - has significantly improved road connectivity to the multi-modal hub and has led to a rise in the number of firms exporting and importing goods via the port over the last 12 months.
Fuller added: “Sunderland is ideally located to complement our existing operations in the South and East of the country. Port of Sunderland is able to handle the most common size of tanker ships found in European waters and is best placed to help us develop the rapidly expanding market for liquid nitrogen fertilisers in the North East and the Borders with renewed road infrastructure and a significant number of experienced local hauliers.”
The plans were green-lit by Sunderland City Council yesterday [28 Oct] and Brineflow expects construction to start in the winter, with the site being fully operational by summer 2020.
Port of Sunderland director, Matthew Hunt, said: “Port of Sunderland is a fantastic location for businesses that are looking for excellent connectivity and handling capabilities, and we’re seeing the market respond to that, with a number of enquiries from businesses looking to establish a base on our estate.
“The traction that the port is gathering, and the continued investment being made by the council in both the port estate and the wider city, has provided a major boost to us. Add to that the ongoing work at the £400m International Advanced Manufacturing Park and the redevelopment of the Vaux site, and it’s proving to be a very exciting time for the city and everyone involved with it.”