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Transport plan for Cantley sugar factory

PUBLISHED: 11:02 14 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:02 30 June 2010

A scheme to transport raw sugar cane from Great Yarmouth to a proposed £35m processing plant at the British Sugar site at Cantley is feasible, a study has concluded.

A scheme to transport raw sugar cane from Great Yarmouth to a proposed £35m processing plant at the British Sugar site at Cantley is feasible, a study has concluded.

In April 2009 British Sugar was granted permission by the Broads Authority to refine raw sugar cane imported from the Third World throughout the summer months if decides to go ahead with the £35m scheme.

The move would allow the company to produce sugar all year round.

Following last April's decision a study was launched into the feasibility of transporting the raw sugar cane from Great Yarmouth's port and outer harbour to Cantley by barges on the River Yare or by rail.

It was commissioned because villagers were concerned about more lorries rumbling through their community to get to and from the plant's new operations.

British Sugar has said that an average of 119 lorry movements a day would be created.

The study commissioned by the Cantley River and Rail Working Group concluded that the river transport plan could be viable once sufficient volumes are attained and logistical issues are overcome.

The report says that if volumes of imported sugar cane reach 200,000 tonnes per annum then river transport would be the cheapest option followed by road. Rail was not viable because of the lack of infrastructure.

It is estimated that the costs of transport by river could be between £3.20 and £5.25 a tonne compared to £4 a tonne by road and £7 to £8 a tonne by rail.

The report goes on to identify potential problems with the barge plan because of river alignment, limits on night navigation and the reliability of bridge opening times.

The transport study is one aspect of an overall feasibility study which is being considered by British Sugar.

Other aspects include the sugar markets and overall economic conditions.

Within the Broads Authority planning consent, there is no requirement for the raw sugar to be transported by river.

The working group comprises members and officers of the Broads Authority, Yarmouth Borough Council, Norfolk County Council, Yarmouth Port Authority and British Sugar.

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