Milford Haven bucks trend as UK ports hit by Ukraine, Brexit and Covid
Milford Haven is the only port in the UK to have seen significant growth this year as the rest were hit by the war in Ukraine, Brexit and Covid.
The port in the south of Pembrokeshire saw an 18% increase in volumes due to the energy crisis necessitating the importation of more liquefied natural gas to Europe, as the amount coming through from Russia decreased significantly as nations cut ties with the country following its invasion of Ukraine.
Across the rest of the UK, the volume traded by ports remained down by 5.2 per cent on pre-pandemic levels, according to the British Ports Association, with a mixture of Brexit, strikes and a generally contracting economy to blame.
“The recovery of RoRo freight volume after the pandemic has been slower and reflects in part the impact of Brexit on some supply chains,” the British Ports Association said.
In the 12 months to the end of September volumes going through the top 50 UK ports were down by 24 million tonnes from the pre-pandemic period in 2018-19, they said.
Suffering most due to Brexit was the Port of Dover, the UK’s gateway to the European continent, which saw volumes slump by 21 per cent.
Milford Haven could see further expansion in the next few years, with Qatar keen to invest to allow South Hook in Milford Haven to deal with up to 25% more Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) by 2025.
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford defended his recent visit to the World Cup in Qatar partly on the basis of investment in Milford Haven.
“I’ve had a series of meetings,” he said during his visit. “Mostly today they’ve been with business interests. People who have investments in Wales already and looking to have further investments. 20% of the LNG -the liquid natural gas that we rely on in the UK – comes into the UK through Wales.
“And last week Qatar energy and other investors announced further significant investments in Pembrokeshire to secure energy for us for the future and we have many other investments here in Wales.”
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