Work starts on port expansion

PREPARATION turned to construction today as work at long last began on the building of a new £250 million deepwater container terminal at Britain's biggest port.

PREPARATION turned to construction today as work at long last began on the building of a new £250 million deepwater container terminal at Britain's biggest port.

The development at Felixstowe will take six years to complete, but the first phase should be up and running by 2010.

It is a massive engineering project, involving the reclaiming of land in Harwich Harbour to create the 1,285 metres of new quayside with 16 metre deep water alongside to cater for the world's biggest ships.

When complete the expansion project - known as the Felixstowe South Reconfiguration (FSR) - will create four new deep-water berths and increase capacity at the port by 50 per cent to 5.3 million standard-sized boxes.


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To mark the start on the development, John Meredith, group managing director of Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), was due to ceremonially operate a digger and shovel the first bucketful of material into the Dock Basin to launch the filling in of the basin, which was originally dredged in 1882 and has been the heart of the port ever since.

Port chiefs were also due to give an update on the timetable for the work.

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The first berths will are due to be available in 2010, with phase one - 730m of quay - fully operational by September that year.

Phase two is currently expected to be operational by 2014 and will include dualling of 4.5 miles of the Ipswich-Felixstowe rail line to increase rail cargo.

Latter stages of the work will also see a new heritage and visitor centre built at Landguard and a berth for the Felixstowe-Harwich-Shotley foot ferry.

Over the past few months contractors Costain Ltd have been flattening the area ready for development, including demolishing the old flour mill and a number of warehouses and storage sheds, plus other small buildings. The oil jetty and pipeline has also been taken out of action.

Are you worried about the impact of port expansion? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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