Crest of a wave
THE Port of Wisbech and its sister outlet Port Sutton Bridge celebrated a double success this week that confirms both as riding the crest of an economic revival. Authorities at Wisbech port are preparing to handle its first export consignment for more tha
THE Port of Wisbech and its sister outlet Port Sutton Bridge celebrated a double success this week that confirms both as riding the crest of an economic revival.
Authorities at Wisbech port are preparing to handle its first export consignment for more than 10 years when 2,000 tonnes of scrap metal are shipped out to Spain for re-processing.
Meanwhile at Port Sutton Bridge, the harbour tug Fenlander, owned by Fenland District Council, handled one of the largest vessels seen on the River Nene.
The 103-metre-long Boris Scherbina arrived from Bordeaux on Tuesday's morning tide loaded with almost 4,000 tonnes of maize. Fenlander towed the boat up the River Nene stern first as the vessel was too large to use the port's swing basin.
Port officials are delighted that the Boris Scherbina, which usually trades in and around the Mediterranean ports, had come to the Fens.
In Wisbech, Jim Roberts, managing director of the port, which is owned by Fenland Council, said: "The increasing cost of road freight is making Wisbech an attractive port for exporters and importers."
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The scrap metal shipment will be leaving Wisbech later this month and Mr Roberts hopes it will lead to two stops a month, exporting some 4,000 tonnes a month to northern Spain.
There are also plans to export grain from Wisbech, and two grain loading elevators have appeared on the quayside along with a robotic grain sampling arm.
And with the Fenlander, built in Holland in 1999, capable of towage and berth ploughing, it removes the need for expensive dredging equipment to be contracted.
The heady days when Wisbech exported commodities such as grain, rape, sugar beet pellets, beans, building materials and logs could be returning.