Port faces new competition from Essex

PORT bosses at Felixstowe are bracing themselves for new competition as contracts were signed today to build a massive new £1.5billion container terminal.

Richard Cornwell

PORT bosses at Felixstowe are bracing themselves for new competition as contracts were signed today to build a massive new £1.5billion container terminal.

The Suffolk port, which is currently working on its own expansion project, will have a major new rival in the London Gateway development on the Thames estuary.

Developers DP World are building new a port and business park on the 1,850-acre former Shell oil refinery at Thurrock in Essex.

The deep-sea port will have a 2,700 metre quay and be able to handle up to 3.5million containers a year. It will have a direct dual carriageway link to London and the M25 motorway network and is forecast to create 14,000 new jobs.

Today the official signing of the construction contract between DP World and a major joint-venture between Laing O'Rourke and Dredging International took place.

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The developers say the port will create a new entry point for cargo - cutting down on miles travelled by goods arriving in Britain.

“With over 90 per cent of goods purchased in the UK arriving in a container, London Gateway will radically alter the way goods are delivered to our shops, making the UK more efficient,” said a spokeswoman.

DP World is one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, with 45 terminals and 13 new developments in 29 countries, handling more than 43.3million standard-sized containers a year.

See page 25 for the latest progress on the Port of Felixstowe's £250million new deepwater terminal

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