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Eastport grain terminal takes shape

PUBLISHED: 09:25 12 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:56 03 July 2010

Thousands of tonnes of soil have been removed from a six-acre site at Eastport, Great Yarmouth, as a grain terminal is taking shape.

The £5m investment by agricultural merchants Gleadell is scheduled for completion by July 2.

Thousands of tonnes of soil have been removed from a six-acre site at Eastport, Great Yarmouth, as a grain terminal is taking shape.

The £5m investment by agricultural merchants Gleadell is scheduled for completion by July 2.

And regional manager Trevor Gates has booked his first cargo of grain from the port for next summer.

In just three weeks, the Gleadell grain terminal site has been cleared of 10,000 tonnes of soil and now ready-mixed concrete is being laid by Hull-based civil engineers, PGD.

Mr Gates, who is based at Gleadell's Swaffham office, said that the flat store and drier would have total storage capacity of between 18,000 and 20,000 tonnes.

“It is a big investment and it is a major commitment to the area from the company and to Norfolk farming,” he added.

“We can load vessels up to 25,000 tonnes and from the point of the farming community it will be fantastic.

“It will enable them to get to markets which they've never been able to get to,” said Mr Gates.

Eddie Freeman, chief executive officer of Eastport, said: “Gleadell are a major player and we're absolutely delighted to get this level of investment and commitment into a new port operator.”

Two years ago he moved to the port after 15 years on Humberside, where he had seen Immingham's rapid growth in grain shipments and handling.

“It is a tried and tested formula, so it makes sense to replicate it,” he added.

Mr Freeman said that logistics were crucial. “I know the Gleadell have tested them. The bottom line is that we can get into the Midlands, which is a key area, as cost effectively as Felixstowe or Harwich.

“We have a multi-port here. The model is much broader and much more flexible than was ever promoted in the early days,” he added.

Within a couple of weeks, the new port gates would be arriving and then the road, which currently runs alongside the new harbour, will be closed to the public.

“It gives us the ability to run from other parts of the site within a port environment with over-sized equipment.”

The port has been built and about 60 acres of land has been reclaimed.

“It makes Eastport the deepest water port between the Humber and Tilbury, apart form Felixstowe, which is a container port.

“It puts Norfolk in the premier league as far gateway ports are concerned,” added Mr Freeman.

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