Grangemouth firm say there is ‘no demand’ for new container terminal

Grangemouth docks
Grangemouth docks
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Forth Ports claims it does not fear the competition another east coast container terminal could bring.

However the firm, which operates the biggest terminal in Scotland at Grangemouth Docks, is furious at the way Babcock’s plans for Rosyth International Container Terminal have been progressed by the Scottish Government.

Now it is mounting a campaign against the proposal, which will be discussed by the Scottish Parliament’s infrastructure and capital investment committee on September 25.

Speaking on Monday, Forth Ports operation director Stuart Wallace would not be drawn about the potential impact another terminal on the Forth would have on his firm.

He said: “Competition is not an issue to us. If there are two container terminals it is down to customer discretion which one they prefer to use. It’s about a fair process being followed in getting to a determination for consent for this proposal.

“We just can’t see the commercial justification for this. There is no demand for two container terminals on the Forth.”

Mr Wallace said two independent reports carried out by the Freight Transport Association and Scottish Enterprise supported this view.

He added: “Grangemouth can handle over 200,000 boxes a year with the scope for up to 400,000, so the opportunity is there to enhance an existing terminal. Grangemouth is the most sensible place to have a container terminal from an environmental point of view.”

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald supports Forth Ports’ stance.

He said: “There is no need for a new container facility on the Forth.

‘‘The Rosyth International Container Terminal could impact detrimentally on the economy in the Grangemouth area.”

Babcock had not responded with a comment on the issue as The Falkirk Herald went to press.