Dredging boosts container port

A MASSIVE dredging project is taking place to create the deep water ready for the new quay to be built at Britain's biggest container port.

A MASSIVE dredging project is taking place to create the deep water ready for the new quay to be built at Britain's biggest container port.

The £250 million transformation of Landguard, the old P&O North Sea Ferries terminal and the Dock Basin will provide extra berths for the world's biggest ships and expand capacity by 50pc.

The new berths will have 16 metres of water depth alongside the 730m of container quay and the dredging of the area is being carried out by the highly-experienced Westminster Dredging Company, which is part of the Royal Boskalis Group.

Royal Boskalis is one of the world's leading dredging companies, specialising in the construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, land reclamation, coastal defence and riverbank protection.


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“The works at Felixstowe include initial dredging of silts and soft clays within the area to be reclaimed to provide a firm base on which to build the terminal,” said a port spokesman.

“Once this is done the original Dock Basin and the area between the present quay and future quay-wall will be backfilled.

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“In addition, the western section of the approach channel into Felixstowe will be widened and work will be undertaken to dredge the deep-water berth pocket in front of the new quay wall, and the future tug berth pockets.”

To carry out the dredging activities, a number of trailer suction hopper dredgers are being used.

These vessels “hoover” up the silts as they sail along, retaining the material in hoppers on board prior to disposal at designated sites.

Chris Lewis, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of the Port of Felixstowe, said: “We are pleased with the progress being made on Felixstowe South.

“The construction programme remains on schedule and we expect to handle the first ship on what will be the UK's most modern container terminal in 2010.”

FASTFACTS: Expansion timetable

Backland block paving - now underway and will take until January 2010

Quay wall construction - mid-January to March 2010

Infilling and compacting - February to July

First section of phase one - due to be operational April 2010

First phase fully operational - September 2010

Work to begin on second phase - expected 2012

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