PD Ports Apprentice Recognised for Safety Improvement Projects

London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) July 21, 2009 -- A student project which has led to significant safety improvements at North East-based Teesport has won Daniel McDougal, an engineering apprentice at PD Ports, runner-up prize in the Skills Showcase 2009 event.

For the project, part of a four-year course for the Higher National Certificate in Engineering, Daniel designed a mechanical grab trailer to make it safer to fix the grabs to cranes on the dock, at Teesport.

The grabs are attached to the Port's Gottwald cranes and are used for discharging up to 30 bulk cargo vessels in a year at Teesport and Hartlepool docks.

Tony Dolan, PD Ports' engineering superintendent says the system is already implemented and used daily. "The process of fixing the grab to the crane had been identified as a possible safety/resource issue. Daniel has helped to come up with a great innovative solution. It has already helped improve our safety record."

Mr Dolan says he was impressed by the high quality of the entries in the Skills Showcase at the Hartlepool College of Further Education, with all types of businesses represented. "It is great to see an event which promotes engineering excellence and it helps us benchmark our apprentices against others. Daniel's second place reinforces the true benefits of our training programmes and demonstrates, as a business, we are on the right track."

Two other PD Ports apprentices also took part in the Skills Showcase event - Mark Gates with his dynamo-powered bicycle safety lighting system and James Cowley with his flood defence system. "All participants should be congratulated on their individual presentations," added Mr Dolan.

Russell McCallion, PD Ports' group HR director says PD Ports recognises that events such as the Skills Showcase are good for the business and for the apprentices themselves. "This sort of involvement clearly demonstrates the commitment that PD Ports, our local training provider, NETA Training Group and the whole engineering team have to delivering the best possible support to our apprentices."

PD Ports currently has five apprentices at various stages in their four-year courses to become fitters, electricians or other skilled technicians, and also encourages other employees to attain NVQ and HNC certificates. Since the tailored training programme began some seven years ago PD Ports has successfully led 22 young people through their apprenticeships.

"Investment doesn't stop at the trainee level. We currently have two former apprentices attending university on day release on company-sponsored degree courses. Training is also a legal requirement necessary to meet the needs of modern industry. It was very comforting to see all types of industry collectively investing in the youth of tomorrow," concluded Mr McCallion.

About Image Line Communications Ltd.

About PD Ports:

• PD Ports Limited was formed following the successful takeover of PD Ports plc by Babcock and Brown Infrastructure (ASX: BBI) in February 2006.
• PD Ports is a high performing specialist ports business offering a wide variety of supply chain services to improve customers’ international product and material movements into and out of – as well as within – the UK.

• PD Ports employs over 1330 members of staff, and generates an annual turnover of over £130 million from 30 UK locations.

• PD Ports operates throughout the UK from bases at many key ports and logistics centres.

• The 3 business interests of PD Ports are:
o Port Operations– this includes:
? Teesport: one of the top 3 UK ports, with flows of containers, bulk traffic and finished cars, handling 50 million tonnes of throughput p.a.
? The Northern Gateway Container Terminal: a major new deep sea container terminal planned at Teesport on the South side of the River Tees. The £300+ million development will have a capacity of 1.5 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) and is anticipated to deliver over 5,500 jobs to the Tees Valley, opening in 2011. Please visit http://www.thenortherngateway.co.uk
? Portcentric Logistics: a new concept promoted by PD Ports for locating the storage and distribution of imported goods close to the point of arrival at a UK port. This concept avoids the slow handling and return of empty containers as well as eradicating unnecessary UK road mileage, which occurs when delivering to a traditional inland import centre, such as in the Midlands. In 2006 ASDA Wal*Mart opened a 360,000 sq ft import centre at Teesport and has saved more than 2 million road miles by adopting the portcentric concept. Tesco is also building a 1.2 million sq ft import centre at Teesport to open in 2009.
? Humber & Small Ports: owners and/or operators of ports on the Humber estuary, Rivers Trent and Ouse, and at Medina Wharf, Isle of Wight. Service offerings include ships’ agency, chartering and stevedoring services.
? Logistics: PD Logistics offers warehousing and distribution services at 14 UK locations throughout the North East, Humberside & East Anglia, including at Felixstowe. Please visit http://www.pdlogistics.com
o Conservancy – this includes:
? Management of river traffic for the ports of Tees and Hartlepool, ensuring safe navigation and maintaining the required channel depth.
o Property– this includes:
? Revenue and income from property and facilities owned by PD Ports and used by third party clients on long term leases.
? Land that is not utilised for operational purposes and forms part of the potential for development.
? The redevelopment of part (133 hectares) of Hartlepool docks known as Victoria Harbour.

See also http://www.pdports.co.uk

Press Release Source: http://PressExposure.com/PR/Image_Line_Communications_Ltd..html

Press Release Submitted On: July 21, 2009 at 10:08 am
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