Belfast Telegraph

Belfast harbour reports £26m profit

Belfast harbour made £26 million profit during a record trading performance at Northern Ireland's main port.

Operating profits climbed by 42% on 2012 during the last year.

Coal, stones, scrap and animal feed handling contributed to the increase in the amount of goods processed.

Managers have also committed more than £60 million to projects like enhancing deep water facilities and building a new offshore wind energy terminal, the first in the UK or Ireland.

Harbour chairman Len O'Hagan said: "Despite ongoing challenges in both the UK and Irish economies I am particularly pleased that in its 400th year the harbour continued to uphold its traditions of investing, planning and delivering for the future needs of Northern Ireland's economy."

He said much of last year's growth was secured by investments totalling £100 million in servicing the renewable energy, dry bulk goods and freight industries.

The single largest expenditure, worth £53 million, was the development of a logistics and assembly harbour to support offshore renewables.

The 50-acre site is leased to DONG Energy and ScottishPower Renewables and has completed its first full year of operations.

Mr O'Hagan said the investments were necessary to accommodate a projected 68% increase in trade over the next 15 years.

He added: "As the port has evolved and grown a number of sites formerly used for shipping-related activity have become available for new uses.

"Belfast Harbour has funded a range of projects from the refurbishment of existing buildings to provide incubator and start-up space to the development of City Quays which addresses the shortfall in high-end office space in the city centre."

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