Minister visits port to see expansion progress

FELIXSTOWE: Transport minister Mike Penning was today due to visit Britain’s premier port to see the progress being made on the first phase of its �240million expansion project.

Mr Penning was also set to discuss government ports policy with management – giving officials at Felixstowe an indication of how the coalition believes ports should move forward and compete with rivals in Europe and worldwide.

David Gledhill, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, which owns the Port of Felixstowe and Harwich International Port, said: “Our development here is of major national strategic importance and will allow the UK to be included on the schedules of the next generation of container vessels for years to come.

“We are delighted for the opportunity to show out latest investments to improve rail facilities at the port.

“We are already putting more containers on the rail network than any other UK port and this is destined to grow still further in the future.”

Mr Penning said he was looking forward to his visit.

“Britain has a proud legacy of first class port facilities which have played a major part in our economic strength,” he said.

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“Felixstowe is a great example of British industry building on that legacy, attracting real investment and creating real jobs through these impressive new facilities.”

He will be shown work taking place on the Felixstowe south development – where a new deepwater terminal able to take the world’s largest container vessels is being built – and tour the new and existing terminals at Felixstowe.

He will then board a vessel for a guided tour of the harbour, and cross to Harwich to see Harwich International Port’s increasing involvement as a key player in the offshore renewable energy sector.

n What do you think of the port’s expansion project? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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