The Port of Tilbury has submitted an application to build a new terminal adjacent to the current port in Thurrock.
The proposed new port, known as Tilbury2, will be built on a 152-acre site, which was part of the former Tilbury Power Station.
Tilbury2, which is set to be operational in the second quarter of 2020, is central to the Port of Tilbury’s £1 billion investment programme.
Expansion is needed to cope with an increase in ferry traffic, carrying consumer goods, perishables (food and drink) and steel between Europe and the UK, the port said, as well as rising demand for construction materials and aggregates from the UK's building sector, and imported and exported cars.
The investment also includes the UK's largest warehouse at the port’s second extension site - the 70-acre London Distribution Park - for Amazon UK, which began operating this autumn.
Tilbury has doubled the size of its business in the past ten years and said it expects to double the volume across the quay (from 16 million to 32m tonnes) and triple the number of jobs (from 3,500 to 12,000 jobs) over the next 10-15 years.
International trade secretary Liam Fox said: “Ports play a key role in the long-term growth of the UK economy, with Tilbury being a great example of an ambitious, successful operation which is growing to deliver the capacity businesses need to export products from the UK across the world.
“As an international economic department, we will continue to champion the growth of our maritime sector, and we would certainly encourage local businesses to make the most of the fantastic connections Tilbury has to offer.”
Tilbury2 will act as a satellite of the main port and will comprise a roll on/roll off ferry terminal for importing and exporting containers and trailers; a facility for importing, processing, manufacturing and distributing construction materials; a storage area for a variety of goods, including exported and imported cars; and a new national strategic rail and road connection into the site.
Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports Group, which owns the Port of Tilbury, commented: “Tilbury2 will deliver much needed port capacity to support businesses importing and exporting to-and-from Europe and across the globe at a crucial time for the UK.
“Tilbury2 is a significant part of port’s £1bn investment strategy as we look to provide the next generation of logistics facilities to equip Britain to take advantage of new business opportunities and cement existing trading relationships.”