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Kent wharf investment boosts delivery of building materials into London by river

Local MP launches £3.8 million lorry-busting aggregates conveyor

A £3.8 million investment to carry more building materials into London by river has been unveiled by the Port of London Authority and CEMEX, near Gravesend, in Kent.

On Thursday 30 January the local MP Adam Holloway (Conservative, Gravesham) was at Northfleet Wharf to officially open a 200-metre conveyor, with the capacity to transfer as much as 350,000 more tonnes of aggregates to London by ship each year.

The project is set to play a key role in meeting growing demand for housing and other key infrastructure in the capital.

The MP’s coincided with CEMEX’s Sand Fulmar ship arriving laden with sand and gravel to be processed by the new conveyor.

The improvements at the wharf will see the site’s annual capacity rise to as much as 850,000 tonnes. Each year, the capital needs approximately 10 million tonnes of sand, gravel and crushed rock for construction projects.

Adam Holloway MP said: “It is genuinely an honour to cut the ribbon on this wonderful project, which is such a great collaboration between the PLA and CEMEX.

“The river has always been a mainstay of Gravesham’s economy and this very welcome new investment is vital to protecting its future as a source of employment for local people.

“It’s also contributing towards the work the nation needs to undertake to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“I congratulate both the PLA and CEMEX for showing such leadership on this issue.”

Robin Mortimer, PLA chief executive, said: “This investment is central to our long-term Thames Vision work to maximise the use of tidal river between Teddington and the coast, for both freight and passenger transport. Our aim is to do this whilst also protecting the environment and making the most of the river’s social and recreational potential. Crucially, this conveyor also generates a commercial return for us, which we will re-invest in other projects to enhance the river, for the benefit of all its users and the environment at large.”

Laurence Dagley, CEMEX UK Materials South’s managing director, said: “We are grateful for our positive relationship with the PLA, and thankful for their support. Not only will this investment allow us to better serve the London market, opening up opportunities for growth and securing the future of the wharf, but it also has a sustainability benefit.

“Every dredger we deploy on the river bound for the capital with building materials eliminates 250 lorry journeys from the region’s roads each year.

“The investment also boosts the long-term viability of the wharf, a vital contributor to the local economy. The new conveyor will offer greatly increased flexibility of our operations, ensuring quality and allowing us to better meet customer needs.”

The PLA’s Thames Vision aims to increase port trade to up to 80 million tonnes by 2035.

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