Yesterday I attended a reception in Newport to mark SIMEC’s acquisition of Bird Port on the river Usk.

SIMEC – part of the GFG Alliance run by Sanjevv Gupta – plan to double the capacity of Bird Port, which it bought in recent months along with Cargo Services Ltd, the firm which runs freight handling operations at the site.

At present the port handles up to 30 ships a month but the newly-named operator, SIMEC Bird Port, aims to increase this to over 40 ships a month, handling cargoes ranging from steel coil for the automotive industry and rod and bar for the building sector to bulk materials such as aggregates for road construction and agricultural materials.

Bird Port is unique as the only fully-undercover cargo-handling facility built on Britain’s west coast to allow loading and unloading of sea-going vessels in all weathers. The port currently employs about 70 people but this is expected to rise to over 100 as business expands at the site.

The port is also adjacent to the Liberty Steel Newport rolling mill where the company plans to create hundreds of new jobs by installing an electric arc furnace for recycling scrap metal as part of the group’s GREENSTEEL sustainability strategy.

I welcome this new investment, which represents another vote of confidence in Newport and South Wales by SIMEC and the GFG Alliance.

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