Jerry Hopkinson, Managing Director Bulks and Port Services at PD Ports

Teesport receives major boost as PD Ports and SSI UK sign new long-term deal

Inset: Jerry Hopkinson, Managing Director Bulks and Port Services at PD Ports

PD Ports has announced the signing of a new seven year deal with SSI UK for the handling of steel slab through Teesport.  More than seven million tonnes of steel slab has been exported through the port since the producer restarted operations almost three years ago.

Besides securing approximately 100 existing jobs at the port, the new contract includes the provision of additional export capacity at the port that could handle the expected future increase in SSI’s steel production.  There is also the expectation that future increases in volumes will create of up to an additional 30 jobs.

Significant investment by PD Ports at its No 1 Quay at Tees Dock, which is on target for completion in May 2015, will enable fully laden panamax vessels to be loaded at any level of tide.  This will reduce supply chain costs for SSI UK and facilitate improved efficiencies at Teesport’s steel handling facility.

Jerry Hopkinson, PD Ports’ Managing Director Bulks and Port Services, said: “We are delighted to have agreed a new seven year deal with SSI UK.  We have worked hard to support SSI UK since the recommencement of steel production on Teesside in 2012 through improved efficiency of our operations and investment in our facilities.

“This contract demonstrates the close partnership between our businesses which we are sure will continue for many years to come.  It provides the capacity to increase the volume of exports as SSI’s production grows and secures the long-term position of Teesport as the UK’s premier bulk exporting port.”

Cornelius Louwrens, UK Business Director and Chief Operating Officer for SSI UK added: “We are pleased to have concluded the new agreement on what is a key part of our operations in ensuring we meet our customer requirements.

“The exporting of slabs through Teesport over the past three years has been very successful and is attributable to the close working relationship and cooperation between the two companies.  We look forward to a continuation of that in operating the new contract.”