Felixstowe: Go-ahead given for longer quay to cater for extra mega-ships
PUBLISHED: 12:47 17 February 2014 | UPDATED: 12:47 17 February 2014
Britain’s biggest port has today received permission for a new multi-million pound extension which will enable it to handle two of the next generation of mega-ships at the same time.
Work will start on the 190-metre “finger quay” at the Port of Felixstowe this year and bosses say it will be operational in 2015.
The extension to the £300m berths 8 and 9, completed two years ago, will allow the port to berth two 18,000-box container ferries side-by-side and increase capacity by 275,000 standard-sized containers a year.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) gave consent for the project and associated dredging to cope with the depth of the new vessels after carrying out a detailed environmental impact assessment.
Clemence Cheng, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports UK (HPUK), owners of the port, said: “We welcome the MMO’s decision to consent to the extension of Berths 8 and 9 by 190 metres at the Port of Felixstowe.
“This scheme represents the latest in a long line of investments by HPUK at the Port of Felixstowe.
“We opened Berths 8 and 9 in November 2011 and this new extension will allow us to offer more berth-windows and greater flexibility to our customers.
“This is an important investment as it will increase our ability to berth a greater number of the very largest container vessels in the future.”
Felixstowe, marketed as the Port of Britain, is the only port in the UK so far to have handled the new ships carrying 18,000 containers, operating on the Asia–Europe trade.
The 400metre long Triple-E vessels were introduced by Maersk last year.
The port’s current south quay has cranes big enough for the ships but at 730m long it is 70m or so short for two of the vessels to berth at
The project will involve dredging 740,000 cubic metres of material to provide the berth and enable a new steel-piled quay wall to be built.
Mr Cheung said: “Our commitment to a programme of continuous investment has helped secure our position as the Port of Britain.
“This latest phase of development is designed not only for the latest generation of container vessels, but for those that will follow them in future.
“With a design depth of up to 18 metres alongside, and cranes able to span 25 containers across a vessel, this facility gives our customers confidence in our ability to deliver for them in the long term.”
He said work on the new quay will get under way as soon as possible. Construction is expected to take around 11 months.