Belfast Harbour has recorded its second busiest year for imports and exports, as pre-tax profits rose 2.3% to £29.9 million in 2015.
David Dobbin is chairman of the Harbour Commissioners who run the the port, which handles 70% of Northern Ireland’s seaborne trade and oversee the mangement and development od lands in the harbour estate.
“This has been an excellent trading year for Belfast Harbour with 23 million tonnes of cargo being handled by the port during 2015,” he said.
“There was continued growth in Belfast’s main routes to Scotland and England, with the Belfast-Liverpool Stena service seeing the strongest performance with a 4% increase.
Preparatory work on a new coal processing plant also continued and the harbour provided leases to Titanic Foundation to facilitate the restoration and conversion of the former Harland and Wolff headquarters into a boutique hotel.
“The landscape of Belfast Harbour is being transformed as new marine and real estate developments come to fruition.
“With £100 million committed to projects which are already under way, or are in the process of securing planning such as the proposed new cruise berth, we are laying the foundations for how Belfast Harbour will look and feel for the 21st century.
“Trade in the first quarter of 2016 has already shown encouraging signs of growth, building upon the success of our customers and the outward looking ethos of Northern Ireland’s private sector.
“Our expectation is that such growth will enable the harbour to continue to support and self-fund its ambitious investment programme, creating much needed quality jobs.”