Green investment holds key to future growth says Simon Bird, Regional Director for ABP Humber

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Associated British Ports (ABP) has an excellent recent track record in investing in the Humber Ports to help unlock economic growth. The investment of over £50 million in 2018 and 2019 to upgrade and expand the two container terminals in the ports of Hull and Immingham are a good example of this success. In the brief time since those investments, many new destinations and regular shipping calls to the terminals were added to their work, after the investment helped to establish them as a strong player in the market.

It is certainly hoped that the 50 year £100 million investment deal between ABP and Stena for a new up-to four ferries a day service from the Port of Immingham will produce similar results. That project is currently going through the consenting process with Government. The investment, at times of economic uncertainty, helps to grow confidence in the market and strengthen the already strong position the Humber plays in the trade flows of the UK.

However, it is in the green growth area that some of the most exciting projects can be found. The Humber is the most carbon polluting region of the UK. The Humber Energy Board recently produced information that shows companies in the region are investing £15 billion on schemes to transition our energy supply which can provide 50% of the UK’s renewable energy and reduce CO2 emissions by 80%. Importantly, from an economic perspective, such investment not only secures the one in ten jobs in the Humber that already rely on energy, but will also grow tens of thousands of new jobs.

A good example is the new green scheme in the Port of Immingham. A joint project between ABP and Air Products, it will bring a green hydrogen production facility to the UK. ABP will invest in new infrastructure with a new jetty to service the import and export handling of liquid bulk products. In addition to handling green ammonia, the jetty is being designed so that it can accommodate other cargoes connected to the energy transition, including the import of liquified CO2 from carbon, capture and storage projects for sequestration in the North Sea, thereby playing a significant role in the UK’s energy transition. 

Air Products have an existing plan to develop the UK’s largest blue hydrogen facility in Immingham. This new project will bring a wide range of benefits to Immingham and the UK, including eliminating up to 580,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, the equivalent of taking 20,000 diesel HGVs off UK roads, as well as reducing nitrous oxide and particulate emissions. In addition, the project will bring up to £4 billion in growth and financial benefits to the region and provide 1,400 direct jobs and approximately 1,600 indirect jobs for supply chains and local businesses. 

It is green investment such as this, that holds the key to unlocking future growth in the UK economy.