A NEW UK-first Green Automotive Hub will support workers at the Stellantis Ellesmere Port factory.
Stellantis has marked the official opening of the hub, which will support electric vehicle production at the group’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing facility.
Located at Queen Elizabeth II Eastham docks, Merseyside, the Hub was developed in partnership with Suardíaz and Peel Ports to facilitate a new maritime logistics service which will supply parts to Ellesmere Port – the UK’s first EV-only volume manufacturing plant.
The hub was officially opened on Wednesday, November 15 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony as it welcomed a vessel from Vigo Port in Spain, the location of Ellesmere Port’s sister plant, to which it now serves a new twice weekly shipping service.
The 891 nautical miles maritime route servicing the plant is projected to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 30% and energy consumption by 37% when compared to road travel, supporting Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 commitment to become a carbon neutral group, globally, by 2038.
The route is expected to take an estimated 14,700 lorry journeys off roads across the UK and continental Europe annually, saving approximately 17.5 million kilometres (c.11 million miles) in road trips.
Each ship will be able to take up to 95 lorries whose cargo will comprise around 47 different part lines of sheet metal parts and components that will be used in the assembly of the all-electric compact vans produced at Ellesmere Port.
The packaging used to transport the parts is then taken back to Vigo Port on the return leg in order to be reused for subsequent trips.
Peel Ports and Suardíaz have invested a combined £10 million in recommissioning a berth at the Queen Elizabeth II Eastham dock and installing the infrastructure needed to support the processing of the Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) ships and their cargo.
The dock is conveniently located two miles from the Stellantis Ellesmere Port plant, with direct access to the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal.
Diane Miller, plant director, Ellesmere Port, said: “We’re thrilled to be marking the opening of the new Green Automotive Hub at Queen Elizabeth II Eastham dock.
"Following the start of electric vehicle production earlier this year, this is another important milestone for Ellesmere Port, enabling us to establish a sustainable supply chain through a new maritime shipping route with our sister plant in Vigo, Spain. I’d like to thank Peel Ports and Suardíaz for their collaboration on this groundbreaking project.”
David Huck, chief operating officer at Peel Ports, said: "This new Green Automotive Hub is set to be a game-changer for us in cutting our supply chain emissions, and it’s a great example of the forward thinking and cooperation that are needed to reduce the impact of the maritime and logistics sectors on the environment.
"An essential element of our sustainability drive is close collaboration with like-minded businesses, so it has been truly rewarding to partner with Suardíaz and Stellantis on this pioneering project.”
Juan Riva, President and CEO of Suardíaz, said: “This new Suardíaz Terminal is the result of the excellent collaboration between Peel Ports and Suardíaz, as well as the trust vested by Stellantis in Suardíaz to establish and execute the supply chain for the Ellesmere Port plant over the next five years.
"The imminent introduction of biofuels to our ships will further strengthen our commitment to the decarbonisation and sustainability of our maritime-land corridors, in the same spirit under which Stellantis electric vehicles are manufactured.”
Ellesmere Port is the UK’s first EV-only volume manufacturing plant and the first Stellantis plant globally dedicated to electric vehicles. Production officially commenced in September this year, following a £100 million investment to transform Ellesmere Port for EV production.
The plant produces the Vauxhall Combo Electric, Opel Combo Electric, Peugeot e-Partner, Citroën ë-Berlingo and Fiat E-Doblò, compact vans. Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën and Fiat are currently the only mainstream automotive brands to produce vans in Britain.
From 2024, Ellesmere Port will also produce a range of electric passenger vehicles across the Stellantis brands, including the Vauxhall Combo Life Electric, Peugeot e-Rifter and Citroën ë-Berlingo MPVs.