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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
David Laister

New shipment in Immingham's 110th year as war and construction boom skew market in coal legacy nod

With 110 years of trading about to be celebrated, you’d think Port of Immingham would have handled it all.

But it has just welcomed a first shipment of conditioned pulverised fly ash.

A by-product of fossil fuel and biomass power generation, it forms a key construction raw material. And extreme market forces - with strong domestic demand meeting ready supply on the continent - have led to a record import.

Read more: Drax submits plans for world's largest carbon capture facility

It was brought in by Drax-based Power Minerals Ltd, a leading supplier, and the 25,000 tonnes carried by MV Loyalty represented its single biggest shipment.

Nigel Waldron, managing director, told how the global energy crisis fuelled by the war in Ukraine was playing its part.

He said: "In Europe they are burning coal like it is going out of fashion, to save on gas and other fuels, because, basically, it is cheaper. It means there is a lot of ash available in Europe. It is all very good quality ash, which allows the majority of it to go straight into cement use, where the market in the UK is quite buoyant.

"We don't have that much material available to meet the high end market, so we're matching it up."

Used in road or ground bases, in concrete and cement and tile and brick making, the furnace bottom ash as it is also known is diverted from landfill while reducing the need to mine for virgin aggregates.

Ivan Skidmore, sales and technical director at PML, said: “This is the largest single shipment that we have arranged of ash, and working with ABP was very straightforward and clear, in terms of the process and delivery. They have been very supportive throughout the process and implementation.

“This significant shipment of ash illustrates the strength of PML as part of our international group – EP Power Minerals – and shows our ability to source ash, invest in delivery and ensure a robust, continuity of ash supply when needed.

“We always go above and beyond to meet our customer’s needs and this shipment, with the support of ABP, is a great example of that ethos.”

Immingham’s docks, built to export coal as part of the huge role the North played in the globalisation of the industrial revolution, will mark a milestone anniversary later this month.

Simon Bird, ABP’s regional director for the Humber ports, said: “Immingham plays a key role in bringing in components for the construction industry and we’re delighted to welcome this first shipment of conditioned pulverised fly ash. The strength of the Humber ports is in the diversity of the markets and commercial sectors that we support, so it is great to be adding another new product to that range.”

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