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A promise of ‘greener’ aggregates for London

A major investment at the Port of Tilbury will see a significant expansion of the aggregates business supplying London’s demand for construction materials.

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A promise of ‘greener’ aggregates for London

Walsh, a leading provider of river, road and rail freight solutions, has signed a 20-year agreement with the Port of Tilbury. The deal enables Walsh to create two new freight hubs at the port – the first will be a logistics terminal with aggregates processing plant and the second will be a rail-linked freight facility.


By transporting aggregates by river and rail, it is anticipated that road miles and traffic congestion will be significantly reduced, as well as representing a fraction of the carbon emissions of road haulage.


Walsh will bring 400,000t of secondary aggregate into Tilbury by sea and river each year from china clay producer Imerys in Cornwall. This material – known as Cornish Granite – is a by-product of the china clay industry and is rated as one of the most sustainable aggregates available in the UK. Combined with transport by marine freight, it achieves a greener supply chain for building development.


“Walsh and the Port of Tilbury have worked together for decades and share a goal to create more sustainable supply chain solutions for customers, particularly in the construction industry, by using the River Thames and expansion of rail freight. Both businesses are investing significantly in these two new operations at the port,” the parties said in a joint statement.


Walsh will move into 34 Berth at the port in March 2021 and will install a new multi-million pound processing plant to wash and grade the aggregate for supply to their customers across the South East. Products include rock armour stone, type 1 sub-base, single sized granite, coarse sand, fine mortar sand and 6F5 recycled aggregate.


Peter Ward, commercial director at the Port of Tilbury, said: “Walsh is an important and long-standing customer and we are very pleased to be working with them on this strategic expansion and investment in their business.


“The Port of Tilbury has unrivalled multimodal transport connections and businesses located at the port which together create a Construction Hub that benefits everyone.


“This is a strong start to the year as we get underway with the economic recovery following the pandemic and Brexit impacts. This not only supports the UK Government’s ‘Build Back Better’ recovery strategy but also creates greener supply chains using water-borne and rail transport.”


Joe Gifford, managing director of Walsh, said: “We’re delighted with this deal which further extends our river, rail and road network across the South East.


“It also puts Walsh in a unique position to meet London’s need for construction materials in the most sustainable way possible. With aggregate recycling at its maximum in the capital – a success story we’re also proud to be part of – our new partnership with the Port of Tilbury means we can bring in Cornish Granite that would otherwise be discarded and turn it into high-quality products to support London’s development and regeneration.”


Mark Faraway, senior commercial manager at the Port of Tilbury, said: “Our rapidly expanding bulks business at the Port of Tilbury provides the vital elements to ensure an efficient and greener supply chain for our customers. We have long relationship with Walsh and we are happy that we can continue this for the next two decades.”


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