Joe O’Neill, the port’s commercial director confirmed that over 17m tonnes of goods had been processed by the port in 2005. The commodity to have received the biggest boost was newsprint for newspapers, which increased by 73% to more than 100,000 tonnes, and comes in the wake of investment in a 110,000 sq ft paper store last year.
Ro-ro traffic remained extremely strong at almost 350,000 vehicles. The welcome statistics rank Belfast as Northern Ireland’s premier maritime gateway.
Growth will continue in the future, as plans have been forged to invest a further £106m (US$184m) in the port-handling facilities over the next five years, including a new terminal at Victoria Terminal Four, which is due to be completed by 2007.