Dredging will help ‘future proof’ Port of Felixstowe
- Credit: Archant
Plans to dredge parts of the sea floor around the Port of Felixstowe will “future-proof the port and secure jobs locally”, according to a spokesman.
Harwich Haven Authority announced that their licence application to carry out major improvement works, including increasing the depth of Harwich Harbour and the deep water access channel, have been approved by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
The decision follows environmental studies and public consultation with stakeholders.
The project will be privately financed and the Harwich Haven Authority said it will allow the Port of Felixstowe to compete in an increasingly competitive global market.
Plans include increasing depth of the access channel to allow ever-larger container ships into the port.
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The deepening of the Harbour and approach channel will ensure almost unrestricted access to the Haven ports, which is essential for operators of larger vessels.
Work on the project is scheduled to commence in 2021 after a tendering process to appoint a contractor to carry out the improvement works.
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Neil Glendinning, chief executive officer, Harwich Haven Authority said: “I am delighted that the MMO has granted us the licence to carry out these significant improvements to the Haven’s access channel and harbour.
“This development is critical to the local, regional and national economies and will deliver to our customers the flexibility of access to the port that they need.
“The global ports sector is increasingly competitive and will become even more so post Brexit so it’s vital that port operators in the Haven can compete as the growth in the number of mega-sized vessels continues.”
A spokesman for the Port of Felixstowe said: “The consent to deepen the approach channel will help future-proof the port and secure jobs locally throughout the shipping and transport sector.”