Trade through Belfast Harbour rose by 16% during 2013 with record tonnages of almost 23 million passing through the Port.
Over half the increase, 1.7m tonnes, was fueled by an increase of over 150% in coal imports. This reflects a new service through Belfast to supply AES Kilroot power station which generates c.30% of Northern Ireland’s electricity.
Roy Adair, Belfast Harbour’s CEO, said:
“2013 has been a very positive year for Belfast Harbour as the economy started to recover slowly and investments in new facilities began to come online. Coal tonnages have been particularly impressive following capital expenditure in new deep water facilities.
“Likewise, Belfast’s £50m investment in the UK’s first bespoke logistics and assembly harbour to support offshore renewables is supporting significant growth in an industry which is benefitting not just Belfast Harbour, but the wider Northern Ireland economy.
“Major investments by Stena Line in new terminals and vessels is also encouraging growth, with increased traffic on all of Stena’s routes from Belfast to Cairnryan, Heysham and Liverpool.
“Tonnages are now 30% up on the pre-recession peak of 2007. Belfast Harbour remains committed to identifying new capital expenditure projects and initiatives to support further growth in tonnages and in the local economy.”
Northern Ireland’s Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy MLA, added:
“The release of these figures clearly demonstrates the significant economic contribution that Belfast Harbour continues to make to Northern Ireland in terms of connectivity, jobs and the local economy. These figures, together with the recent investment in DONG Energy and other ongoing projects, underlines the commitment of the Port to achieving the Executive’s Programme for Government priority to grow the economy.”
Press Release, January 31, 2014