£10m automotive hub planned for the Mersey

Peel Ports will build a £10m ‘green automotive hub’ on the banks of the River Mersey in partnership with automotive giant Stellantis and logistics outfit Suardíaz. Tony McDonough reports

Queen Elizabeth II Dock
Peel Ports will build the green automotive hub at the Queen Elizabeth II Dock at Eastham


A £10m ‘green automotive hub’ is to be built on the Wirral bank of the River Mersey to import parts for the Stellantis automotive factory in Ellesmere Port. 

Peel Ports Group unveiled plans for the facility at the Queen Elizabeth II Dock at Eastham on Thursday. Along with partners Stellantis, and global logistics firm Suardíaz, Peel Ports aims to have the facility operational by September 2023.

Stellantis is investing £100m into the former Vauxhall Astra plant at Ellesmere Port to convert it to produce a new generation of electric vans. Vital components for the vehicles will be imported by sea from Vigo Port in Spain.

This will take an estimated 14,700 lorry journeys off roads across the UK and continental Europe annually. Peel Ports says it will save around 11m miles in road trips every year.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, the hub will sit on a 9.5-acre site on the River Mersey, adjacent to the Manchester Ship Canal, which is also owned by Peel Ports.

Peel Ports and Suardíaz have invested a combined £10m in recommissioning an existing berth at the dock. They have begun installing the infrastructure needed to support the processing of the roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ships and their cargo.

READ MORE: Peel Ports acquires new shipping terminal

David Huck, chief operating Officer at Peel Ports said: “A key part of achieving our sustainable goals involves working collaboratively with like-minded businesses, so it has been fantastic to work alongside Suardiaz and Stellantis.

“The project is a progressive example of the collaboration required to make the maritime and logistics sectors greener.

“Our dedicated and stringent work to reduce our impact on the environment has seen several measurable successes in recent years, and this is the next innovative step as we work towards our goals.”


Vauxhall, Stellantis
Stellantis in Ellesmere Port will produce electric vans


Juan Riva, President and chief executive of Suardiaz, added: “This new service will commence as soon as the new facilities become operationally ready. I would like to thank Peel Ports for their proactivity and contribution to the development.

“This game-changing move will remove trucks off the road, reducing road congestion and carbon emissions, and with our additional actions in using biofuels to power our ships and cold ironing, we are contributing to developing a sustainable supply chain which underpins the spirit in which Stellantis’ vehicles are manufactured.”

The creation of the Green Automotive Hub represents the latest sustainable move from Peel Ports, which in 2021 announced its commitment to becoming a net zero port operator by 2040, ten years ahead of the UK Government’s target.

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