Phase 1 of the £100m terminal at Port of Liverpool opens for business with first biomass freight train

Pix: Shaun Flannery/ COPYRIGHT PICTURE>>SHAUN FLANNERY>01302-570814>>07778315553>> 26th October 2015 First-ever shipment of biomass pellets from £100m terminal at Port of Liverpool to Drax Power Station. Andy Koss, CEO of Drax Power Ltd.

Andy Koss, CEO of Drax Power Ltd.

The Port of Liverpool became part of the biggest carbon saving project in Europe today (Monday 26 October 2015).

Phase 1 of the new £100m terminal began business with the first-ever shipment of sustainable biomass pellets bound for Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire.

Drax is the country’s largest single generator of renewable electricity, producing almost 2,000MW of renewable power, enough for three million homes.

A freight train with 25 specially-designed wagons carrying 1,600 tonnes of pellets left the port at 3.30pm for the 99-mile journey to the power station, which last year provided more than 12 per cent of the UK’s renewable electricity.

Andy Koss, chief executive of Drax Power Ltd, said: “This is the Northern Powerhouse in action; bringing east-west connectivity and driving business and economic growth between the north west and Yorkshire.”

He added: “This new Liverpool terminal adds to facilities on the east coast, bolstering our network still further.  A robust supply chain is crucial as we continue to use the latest technology to transform the Drax power station to generate electricity using sustainable biomass, providing the UK with reliable, affordable, low carbon energy.”

Already two cargoes of biomass – a by-product of the saw milling industry – have been discharged with another ship from North America expected next week. The terminal will eventually have the capacity to handle three million tonnes of wood pellets a year when fully completed in 2016.

All of the wood pellets arriving at the Port of Liverpool will be sent to Drax by rail, ensuring there is no impact on the local road network and the carbon footprint is minimised. Initially four trains a day will make deliveries and this is expected to increase to 10 daily train loads of pellets next year.

The new biomass terminal is set to create an additional 47 permanent jobs at the Port of Liverpool, while construction of the facility and the supply chain will create up to a further 300 jobs.

Gary Hodgson (left), Chief Operating Officer Peel Ports Group pictured with Andy Koss, CEO of Drax Power Ltd.

Gary Hodgson (left), Chief Operating Officer Peel Ports Group pictured with Andy Koss, CEO of Drax Power Ltd.

Gary Hodgson, COO Peel Ports Group, said: “East west connectivity is crucial for driving growth across the entire of the North of England. This is a landmark moment for both the Port of Liverpool and Drax as we provide tangible evidence of how businesses across the north can work together to fuel the Northern Powerhouse.

“The Port of Liverpool can be a huge engine for growth for the Northern Powerhouse as we already handle 45% of the UK’s total transatlantic trade. This new service is a testament to the global supply chains which can already be accessed from the Port of Liverpool and these global links will increase dramatically when Liverpool2 is up and running.”

Biomass is an important part of Peel Ports’ strategy and is in line with the businesses’ aims to transfer freight from road to more sustainable forms of transport such as rail and water. The terminal will contribute to the ambitious growth plans for the Port of Liverpool, with the company already investing £300m to create the UK’s most centrally located deep water container terminal, known as Liverpool2, which is due to open in December 2015.

Liverpool2 will enable the port to handle the largest container ships in the global fleet while at the same time doubling the port’s container capacity.

Words: Richard Harrison, Imagen Group LLP


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The Selby Rail Crash………..a photographers view!

RAF Sea King helicopters land at the crash site

It is almost 10 years ago (28th February 2001) that the Selby rail crash occurred at Great Heck, North Yorkshire. 10 people were killed whilst 82 suffered serious injuries.


The crash occurred in the early morning of the 28th after a Land Rover Defender towing a trailer swerved off the M62 motorway, down an embankment on to the East Coast Main Line coming to rest on the south bound railway track. The driver, Gary Hart, walked free from the accident but whilst making a mobile phone call to the emergency services watched as the Land Rover was hit by a southbound GNER Intercity 225 train travelling at 120 mph.

The leading bogie of the train derailed and the train stayed upright but points to a nearby sidings deflected it onto the path of an oncoming Freightliner freight train. The two trains collided resulting in the near destruction of the freight train and causing severe damage to the 225 and its coaches which overturned and came to rest down an embankment to the side of the track.

The Day….

Emergency Services search the mangled wreckage

I received a call at around 7am on that morning from John Edwards, the Picture Editor of The Sun newspaper, despatching me to Great Heck, very little was known about the incident at that point other than it involved a train. Whilst loading the car I took a second call from the ‘picture desk’ telling me to abandon the scene but to travel a short way from Doncaster up the A1 to Thorpe Audlin where the paper had chartered an helicopter from aerial filming specialists Heliscott. It was probably at this point that I realised that this was a major story unfolding!

The weather that morning was very grey with a little sleet falling, the flight from Heliscott’s base took about 20 mins giving me enough time to prep my camera’s and make sure I was going to get a clear view through the small opening window of the helicopter. As we approached the site the pilot was immediately ordered to leave the area as an ‘air exclusion zone’ had been set up, 2 RAF Sea King helicopters had already flown close by! We were able to make one wide pass of the site giving me some time to get a selection of images.

Once back at base I was able to file my images back to The Sun’s picture desk before making my way to the scene.

Carnage at the crash site

I have to say the scene from the air was a little surreal, like a child’s Hornby train set scattered on a green mat, it wasn’t until I arrived at Great Heck that I was able to take in the full scale of the disaster. By this time the emergency services were in full swing, ambulance and police were carrying out their duties and fire and rescue personnel were searching the wreckage for casualties. I spent another hour or so recording these scenes with the ever increasing number of media colleagues before ‘hooking up’ with The Sun reporter Martyn Sharpe.

View looking south down the East Coast main line

By mid morning The Sun’s news desk had received  a ‘tip off’ about the possible identity of the Land Rover driver and Martyn and I were immediately sent from the scene to a small village in Lincolnshire to try and speak with family and friends of Hart and to hopefully get the all important ‘collect’ picture of him. By early evening we’d managed to succeed in our work with remaining copy and pictures filed to the relevant desks.

Our photography and reporting of the incident made the paper’s front page, along with a double page spread of the scene from the air. Many other national papers also ran the images.


This incident happened during the early day’s of digital photography. I had bought a Kodak DCS 520, a professional digital SLR developed with Canon and based on their flagship EOS 1n film camera, 12 month’s before which offered 2 million pixels at a cost of £5,300!

The small pixel count on the camera meant I still shot the majority of my commercial and PR work on film using the ‘520’ solely for ‘deadline’ work with the newspapers. Alongside the camera I used an Apple G3 laptop with Photoshop for picture editing, transmitting my images with a Nokia mobile phone. Were all used to mobile broadband these day’s and the ‘high speed’ connections that come with it, the Nokia offered data transmission at 9600kbs or 28.8kbs with a fancy ‘modem string’ typed into the software, images took an age to send! All of it ‘cutting edge’ for it’s time!

A gallery of images can be viewed from this link, please note all these can be licensed for editorial or commercial use by using the buy button on the site. Enquiries to,



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