PD Ports said it will invest around $44 million to almost triple container capacity at Teesport, the UK's third largest port.
The company will soon start work on the first phase expansion to increase the port's annual capacity to 450,000 20-foot equivalent units from 235,000 TEUs at present.
Further expansion, subject to traffic growth and market outlook, will lift capacity, including roll-on, roll-off cargo, to at least 650,000 TEUs.
This is the first major investment in the north-east England port since Canada's Brookfield Asset Management acquired PD Ports from Australia's Babcock & Brown Infrastructure for a token one Australian dollar (86 U.S. cents) in November.
Teesport increased container traffic by 62 percent in the first half of the year from the same period in 2009 to 129,000 TEUs and has forecast 40 percent growth for the full year.
"PD Ports has, yet again, out-performed the market place in what is still a turbulent time for businesses globally," said Frans Calje, PD Ports managing director for unitized traffic.
Teesport is mainly a bulk port, handling over 40 million tons of cargo a year, but it wants to grow its container business, mainly regional European feeder traffic, to capture deep sea boxes bound for the north of England that currently pass through crowded southern UK ports including Felixstowe and Southampton.
PD Ports planned to open a $450 million, 1.5 million TEUs-a-year deep sea container terminal at Teesport in 2011, but the project has been put on hold as the company weighs market prospects.
PD Ports generates annual revenue of around $180 million and employs over 1,140 people.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at email@example.com.