THE MP for Thurrock has praised the Port of Tilbury's new paper terminal following a recent visit.

Jackie Doyle-Price claimed that the terminal shows "opportunity is well and truly on the up" in Thurrock.

The port announced last month that a deal had been struck with Hemisphere Freight, meaning an extra 20,000 tonnes of paper will pass through the paper terminal, which opened in March.

Each year, the port handles over three million tonnes of forest products. It's owners, Forth, announced the launch of the London Paper Terminal in March.

The 36-acre terminal includes 700,000 square feet of covered storage and is a centre of excellence for paper and packaging handling and is strategically located offering rapid, easy access to the UK’s largest concentration of consumers.

And once the ships are unloaded, JCB machinary and New Holland tractors - made down the A13 in Basildon - are loaded to exported around the world.

Ms Doyle-Price said: "It is immensely impressive to see the speed and precision with which the ships are unloaded at Tilbury.

"The paper bales are dangerously heavy and easy to damage and I am in awe of how quickly they get from the ship to the printing presses to make our newspapers.

"Next time you buy or pick up your newspaper, think, the chances are the paper has come through Tilbury."

She added: "That this ship is leaving Tilbury full of high value exports is indicative of the growth taking place in our economy, and nowhere is it stronger than here in South Essex.

"There are those who continue to talk our economy down. The truth is opportunity is well and truly on the up."