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PD Ports seeks Chain Reaction for Teesside

Outcomes and plans from the Chain Reaction conference - 10th August 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND, August 15, 2010 ( PD Ports, one of the major companies driving Teesside's ambition to become a centre of excellence for the European wind energy sector, recently hosted a Chain Reaction conference in Hartlepool to build support for the concept.

Representatives of local companies, as well as local MP Iain Wright, listened to presentations outlining the major opportunities and challenges facing the renewable energy sector.

"We need to act now to build the facilities and infrastructure for the wind farm manufacturers if the UK is to develop a sustainable renewable energy manufacturing and logistics sector," says Paul Barker, PD Ports Development Director bulks, ports and logistics. "This is the perfect opportunity for the Government to back UK manufacturing and exporting while at the same time making sure we meet our commitment to its 2020 renewable energy targets."

Speakers called on the Government to make sure planning consent procedures for renewable projects were both transparent and fast and that access to the national grid be made easier for those already generating alternative energy.

Other parts of Europe benefit from significant levels of public subsidy which makes it more difficult for the UK to compete, so the local North-East companies are working together to launch Chain Reaction, the Teesside Renewable Energy Supply Chain Cluster.

They believe that by working together, they can offer the range of skills and facilities needed by those seeking sites for their businesses - including those making hardware for the industry and providers of components for that hardware.

"We have the skills, the facilities and the determination to blend the experience of the past with the vision needed to make this new industrial revolution work," says Mr Barker. "The people here have the engineering skills to work with the new technologies which will be used to produce everything needed for both onshore and offshore wind farms."

The Port of Hartlepool, part of PD Ports, is already building a reputation as a centre of wind energy expertise on its 50ha site. The port hosts JDR Cable Systems, a leading cable manufacturer for renewable energy projects, and Heerema Fabrication Group, which specialises in the engineering and fabrication of large and complex structures, mainly for the offshore oil & gas and energy industry,.

With a large brownfield area, Hartlepool is ideally placed for companies manufacturing and supporting wind energy projects. Its location as the closest UK port to Dogger Bank (the Government's largest designated offshore wind farm zone), its open access to the North Sea, and a workforce with experience and expertise in dealing with large and outsize cargo, makes Hartlepool the obvious choice for this business.

Iain Wright, MP for Hartlepool, says he is very happy to back this initiative. "The Chain Reaction initiative has enormous potential to secure Hartlepool and the wider area as a centre of excellence for wind energy. This will help to create jobs and produce wealth and prosperity for the region. I give Chain Reaction my wholehearted support and will do all I can to work with the team to make it a success".

PD Ports welcomes expression of interest from any companies who wish to be part of the Teesside Renewable Energy Supply Chain Cluster. To register interest, contact , tel: +44 (0)20 7689 9009.

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Notes to editors

Hartlepool Dock

Hartlepool is situated 6.4km north of the River Tees and provides lock free access to its facilities in Victoria Harbour. The Dock has versatile facilities, competitive rates and extensive hinterland adjacent to port operations for development opportunities.

There are three main quays at the port ranging in length from 150m to 380m. Dimensions accepted at the port are 190m length x 33.0m beam.

The port also offers:

Major pipe spooling operations up to 900m in length
A skilled workforce
Layby berths for vessels
Fabrication and laydown areas
Mobilisation work
Offshore support
Heavy cranes
The North basin at Hartlepool is an enclosed dock with 386m of quay and a depth of 3.11m on the sill. Maximum dimensions accepted in the basin are 152m x 21m beam.

The basin has three Roll on/Roll off (Ro-Ro) ramps which can be used for landing or discharging of cargos. One of these Ro-Ro ramps can handle cargo of 500 tonnes. The basin is ideal for heavy Ro-Ro fabrications built for the offshore industry or any vessel requiring a constant level of water. All the quays can be accessed by mobile cranes. Detailed plans are available on request.

About PD Ports: ·

PD Ports Limited is owned by Canadian based Brookfield. Brookfield is a global asset manager focused on property, renewable power and infrastructure assets, with over $100 billion of assets under management. PD Ports was bought by Brookfield in November 2009.

· PD Ports is a high performing specialist ports business offering a wide variety of supply chain services to improve customers' international product and material movements into and out of - as well as within - the UK.

· PD Ports employs over 1140 members of staff, and generates an annual turnover of over GBP115 million from many UK locations.

· PD Ports operates throughout the UK from bases at many key ports and logistics centres.

· The 3 business interests of PD Ports are:

o Port Operations- is split into two business streams - bulks and unitised and includes:§ Teesport: one of the top 4 UK ports, with flows of containers, bulk traffics and finished cars, handling almost 40 million tonnes of throughput p.a.

§ Humber & Small Ports: owners and/or operators of ports on the Humber estuary, Rivers Trent and Ouse, and at Medina Wharf, Isle of Wight. Service offerings include ships' agency, chartering and stevedoring services.

§ Logistics: PD Logistics offers warehousing and distribution services at UK locations throughout the North East, Humberside & East Anglia, including at Felixstowe.

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Development plans for port operations include:

· The Northern Gateway Container Terminal: a major new deep sea container terminal planned at Teesport on the South side of the River Tees. The GBP300+ million development will have a capacity of 1.5 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) and is anticipated to deliver over 5,500 jobs to the Tees Valley, when fully operational. Circa 1,300 of the 5,500 new jobs have already been created through portcentric logistics operations in the past four years.

· Portcentric Logistics: a concept promoted by PD Ports for locating the storage and distribution of imported goods close to the point of arrival at a UK port. This concept avoids the slow handling and return of empty containers as well as eradicating unnecessary UK road mileage, which occurs when delivering to a traditional inland import centre, such as in the Midlands.

In 2006 ASDA Wal*Mart opened a 360,000 sq ft import centre at Teesport and has saved more than 8 million road miles by adopting the portcentric concept. Adjacent to the ASDA facility, Tesco operates a purpose built 1.2 million sq ft import centre at Teesport, which opened in 2009.

o Conservancy - this includes:

§ Management of river traffic for the ports of Tees and Hartlepool, ensuring safe navigation and maintaining the required channel depth.

o Property- this includes:

§ Revenue and income from property and facilities owned by PD Ports and used by third party clients on long term leases.

§ Land that is not utilised for operational purposes and offers potential for development.§ Port land at Hartlepool docks, which is highly attractive to the growing renewable energy sector, including offshore, windfarms, and biomass plants. PD Ports' long term strategy is to further develop Hartlepool docks as a centre of excellence for the offshore support sector.

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Initial press enquiries to:

Yvonne Mulder
PR Manager
Image Line Communications Ltd.
(t) + 44 (0) 20 7689 9009
(f) + 44 (0) 20 7689 8008

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PD Ports contact: Kirsten Potter,
PR & Communications Manager
01642 877026 or 07794 215 670
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