A NORTH-EAST port has handled its largest ever cargo of wood pellets.

The Port of Tyne oversaw a record haul of 57,845 tonnes of the energy plant feed stock when the MV Agnes docked in the region.

The load, which was delivered from Virginia, in the US, will be used by Drax Power, based near Selby, North Yorkshire.

Port bosses say the MV Agnes, which measures 225 metres in length, is also the largest wood pellet ship to be handled at the site.

Steven Harrison, chief operating officer, said: “We were the first to work in partnership with Drax in handling large volumes of wood pellet as it began to convert from coal-derived electricity generation to renewable energy in 2010.

“The significant investments in the port’s infrastructure have enabled us to accommodate some of the world’s largest cargo ships and the MV Agnes represents a milestone in our ability to handle such large cargoes.”

Mr Harrison added the pellets will be stored at the port and be sent to Drax via rail on demand.