Redcar Bulk Terminal and Sirius Minerals Plc have delivered a huge boost to the economic regeneration of South Tees by signing a major land and handling deal.
As work progresses on Woodsmith Mine for the extraction of polyhalite, Sirius Minerals have secured a long-term lease for an area of land on the southern side of the Redcar Bulk Terminal (RBT) site. This will be used to establish a large warehousing facility for the storage of polyhalite from the mine.
In addition, RBT has agreed a long-term material handling agreement to export up to 10 million tonnes of polyhalite per annum from its own facility.
Garry O’Malley, RBT’s General Manager, said: “This is excellent news for Teesside and we’re delighted to be working with Sirius Minerals on a project of such regional magnitude.
“It’s another significant step forward in the continued resurgence of Redcar Bulk Terminal (RBT) as a key partner in the regeneration of the South Tees site and wider Tees Valley economy.
“The closure of SSI clearly hit us hard but it’s not in the nature of Teesside people to give up. RBT is an integral part of British Steel’s UK operations, and this new business more than justifies their continuing investment as RBT is now back in profit with a healthy business pipeline.
“We’ve a hugely flexible operation and, coupled with ongoing investment in our port equipment and rail infrastructure, we’ve diversified our offer and continue to secure significant business in new markets. And we’re now working in partnership with a growing number of companies who see the incredible opportunities our business, and the Tees estuary, offer.
“Over the last two-and-a-half years many new businesses at RBT have benefited from operating from one of the best deep water facilities in the UK and we only see this number growing. By enabling them to trade to and from the region we’re helping bring millions of pounds into the Teesside economy and creating valuable employment.
“We’ve great confidence in the future of this business and this site, borne out of announcements like today’s. British Steel has ambitious plans for Redcar Bulk Terminal as part of their growing Teesside operations and looks forward to continuing to play a significant role in the continuing success of this site and this region.”
Located near Whitby, North Yorkshire, Sirius Minerals’ state-of-the-art Woodsmith Mine will target the extraction of polyhalite, a unique type of potash and a multi-nutrient fertilizer.
The project area contains the largest, highest grade resource of polyhalite to be found anywhere in the world which will be extracted via two mine shafts. It will be transported outside of the National Park to Teesside on a conveyer belt system in an underground tunnel. It will then be granulated at a materials handling facility, with the majority being exported to overseas markets.
Sirius Minerals is aiming to achieve first product from the mine by the end of 2021, ramping up to an initial production capacity of 10 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) and then full production of 20 Mtpa.
Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius, comments: “We are pleased to enter into this arrangement which reduces the complexity of our construction programme and ultimately helps to simplify our stage two financing plan which is being finalised over the coming months.
“By working with a local partner, we can develop our project and also deliver benefits to an existing established business in the Tees Valley. The RBT facility has been underutilised since the closure of the steel works and this agreement will ultimately help us deliver tremendous economic benefits for the region.”
Redcar MP Anna Turley said: “The Sirius Minerals project is a huge investment in our area and this handling agreement with RBT is another boost for their excellent facilities on the Tees.”
Councillor Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This announcement is great news and is further confirmation that Sirius is here for the long-term. It’s also a further a demonstration of the jobs and growth potential at South Tees. I would like to wish everyone involved the best of luck as this crucial project takes another important step forward.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: "Sirius’ multi-billion-pound mine project will be transformational for our area and the local supply chain. I welcome this news, which is another vote of confidence in the Tees Valley and which will help to deliver our ambitious vision to create jobs and boost our economy.”
About Redcar Bulk Terminal
• Redcar Bulk Terminal Limited (RBT) is situated on the South Bank of the River Tees on the North East coast of the United Kingdom
• RBT operates a 320 metre long quay which can accommodate vessels up to 17 metres draft and is fitted with two Ship Unloaders which can operate on grab or hook for bulk or conventional cargoes respectively
• It is HMRC approved for the storage of un-cleared goods and enjoys direct rail access to the National Rail Network along with excellent road links to both the A19 and A1(M)
• The facility operates 24 hours a day all year round and the terminal is equipped to handle rail traffic with separate wagon load and offload bulk handling equipment
• Key imports include coal, petroleum coke, granulated slag and aggregates while key exports include metallurgical coke and furnace ready scrap