Port boss sees a bright future

ONE of the men likely to play an important role in the future of the Outer Harbour has spoken of his efforts to secure the port's first container ship contract.

ONE of the men likely to play an important role in the future of the Outer Harbour has spoken of his efforts to secure the port's first container ship contract.

Peter Hambly, general manager at PSA Great Yarmouth, which runs the harbour's container terminal, said in an exclusive interview with The Mercury: “Negotiations are ongoing with interested parties - more than one, less than ten - and there are a number of shipping lanes who have been to visit and seen the facilities.”

Mr Hambly emphasised PSA GY is actively seeking to bring in business and that, in the long term, the �50m Outer Harbour should prove to be a success story for Yarmouth, creating new jobs.

Comparing Yarmouth to Felixstowe, where he was a terminal manager and which he saw blossom as a port, he said: “There's no reason why we shouldn't enjoy the same proportional level of success which makes for a healthier and wealthier economy.

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“The benefits are far ranging and wide reaching, and it's about the local economy as a whole. There are a wide range of support services involved and one of the draws of the area was the vast experience that is on offer.”

But Mr Hambly warned the current economic climate was a tough one in which to start business, and he pointed to losses experienced by shipping firms worldwide.

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“They're very comfortable with the product that we have on offer. The product isn't the issue; it's the state of the economy, and that's a knock-on effect that's being felt through ports globally.”

PSA GY, described by Mr Hambly as having a good “tenant-landlord” relationship with Great Yarmouth Port Company, became operationally ready earlier this year and will be responsible for moving and storing containers from ships.

The company is a joint venture between PSA International, one of the leading global port groups, and International Port Holdings.

It currently has a two hectare site for container stacking, making it capable of moving around 1,000 containers a week, and is joined by grain traders Gleadells, and Stena Aggregates in the Outer Harbour.

With a 30-year contract, and further 30-year option, PSA GY is looking to expand to 12 hectares with the ability to move 5,000 containers a week when business allows it.

Mr Hambly pointed to the reasons why the Outer Harbour was ideally situated to bring in ships, highlighting its location with good access to ports like Rotterdam and Hamburg.

“It's at a crossroads in many ways, and it also has good access to the Mediterranean countries for short sea operations.”

Earlier this month, the company signed a five-year agreement with Cooper SH for the supply and maintenance of a fleet of port handling equipment.

The news follows on from Gorleston-based Seajacks agreeing to use the harbour for its two self propelled jackup vessels, designed to install wind turbines.

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