Release Date: 06 February 2007
Release ID: 535
Container handling capacity at the Port of Belfast has been boosted by 40% by the opening of a new container terminal at Herdman Channel.
Operated by Belfast Container Terminal (BCT), a subsidiary of Irish Continental Group (ICG), up to 50,000 containers a year will pass through the new facility.
Located on an 11.5-acre site in the County Antrim side of the Port, BCT is one of the largest container facility expansions to be developed by an Irish port in the last decade. The new facility will provide local businesses with access to three direct sailings every week to and from Rotterdam and Antwerp.
Welcoming the opening of BCT, the Port’s CEO, Roy Adair, said:
“BCT is a major multi-million pound investment by the Port of Belfast and ICG, designed to help accommodate the island’s rapidly expanding container market.
“It’s widely anticipated that the global boom in sea borne trade – driven primarily by an explosion in Far Eastern manufacturing – will place considerable strain on port capacity throughout the east coast of Ireland.
“Last year the Irish Business & Employers Confederation (IBEC) warned that there is ‘serious danger of a major capacity shortfall’ in the Republic of Ireland leading to ‘a loss of competitiveness for industry’.
“Such concerns have also been expressed by other industry commentators and our expectation is that BCT will help alleviate that pressure and attract business not only from Northern Ireland, but also the border counties and beyond.”
Liam Lacey, Managing Director of ICG’s Container & Terminal Division added:
“The new container terminal is a significant addition to capacity in the Port of Belfast and will add substantially to the growth of this sector in Belfast.
“It also represents ICG’s first investment in a dedicated terminal facility outside of the Republic of Ireland, reflecting our confidence in the outlook for the Northern Ireland economy.”
The terminal will handle a wide range of containerized cargo including consumer products, manufactured goods produced by all of Northern Ireland’s major manufacturers, refrigerated export cargoes and raw materials such as rubber.
Sailing times between Belfast, Rotterdam and Antwerp is three days. Much of the cargo using the service originates from or is bound for the Far East and other international deep-sea ports.
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