A NORTH-EAST port says it will expand work and boost its position in the offshore energy sector after acquiring a £3.5m crane.

The Port of Tyne, in South Shields, South Tyneside, has received a Liebherr crane, which bosses say can lift up to 144 tonnes.

It will be used to haul cargo such as coal, grain and wood pellets, and will allow the port to work with more large subsea and offshore energy equipment.

Loading article content

The crane was delivered to the North-East, from Rostock, in Germany, to the port's Riverside Quay, and will be fully operational later this month.

Its arrival means the port, which oversees deliveries for Sunderland car maker Nissan and tea firm Tetley, based in Eaglescliffe, near Stockton, now has five harbour mobile cranes, two portal cranes and two container gantry cranes.

Steven Harrison, the port's chief operating officer, said: “This is another major investment and will significantly improve cargo operations.”

Earlier this year, the port revealed £180m plans to build warehouses storing thousands of tonnes of wood pellets for the renewable energy market, which bosses said could create 300 full-time jobs.