Freeport East bosses stress need for grid investment following new report

Freeport East[1] is one of 12 economic growth zones in the UK and will create 13,500 new jobs in the area over the next ten years. The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) is the UK's largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies and has published a new report[2] on Freeport East's Green Transport Hub Strategy. The REA - which is a non-for-profit organisation with about 500 members - said the decarbonisation of transport will enhance the Freeport's future competitive position and will attract new investment in green transport technologies and resources.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Future - Freeport East is set to deliver 13,500 jobs to the area over the next 10 yearsFuture - Freeport East is set to deliver 13,500 jobs to the area over the next 10 years (Image: Freeport East) Steve Beel, chief executive of Freeport East[3], said: "Freeport East, with significant transport flows across rail, road and sea, is a natural hub for the economies of scale required to support decarbonisation. "However, achieving this element of the energy transition will require significant investment in our grid network and renewable power supplies.

"This independent report provides a valuable basis for ensuring we deliver the power infrastructure across Freeport East that will drive the transition to large-scale electrification and cleaner fuels across our transport system." Dr Nina Skorupska CBE and chief executive of REA, said it is fantastic to see an industry-leading coalition like Freeport East committing to the objective of becoming a Green Transport Hub. She added: "Decarbonisation must move faster and across more sectors of our economy than ever before.

"The REA looks forward to working with stakeholders across industry and government to ensure the recommendations in the report are followed in full, and Freeport East's Green Transport Hub vision is realised."

Tom Williams, deputy chief executive at Maritime Transport, said it is essential additional electrical power and alternative fuels are made available in the area.

He said: "Over the next five years Maritime will be operating at least 48 battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks as part of the Innovate UK/Department for Transport ZEHID trials as we move towards net zero."


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