The latest of Associated British Ports major investments in the Port of Southampton has been completed, the brand new vessel traffic service (VTS), and was celebrated by inviting the Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP to open it.
The Minister of State at the Department of Transport was in attendance on September 21, 2016, as ABP revealed its US$5.24 million investment in a new state-of-the-art equipped at Ocean Gate, Southampton, which is manned around the clock.
The equipment includes a new radar system, automatic identification system (AIS), CCTV cameras and fibre optic cabling.
The opening of the new office follows two recent major investments made at the Port of Southampton, a $65.52 million investment in vehicle handling facilities and a $10.87 million upgrade of the Fresh Produce Terminal.
Alastair Welch, port director at ABP Southampton, said: “ABP Southampton has over 1.8m visitors passing through each year on the Solent, so it's vital our technology matches the scale of our operations.
“Safety is paramount at the port, and our latest investment will ensure the continued safe passage of all vessels on one of the UK's busiest stretches of water.”
Shipping Minister John Hayes CBE MP said: “It is vital for the UK’s economy that the world’s largest commercial and cruise ships are able to call safely at the UK’s world leading ports, keeping goods on our shelves, supporting our exporters and taking people on holiday.
“I am delighted to have officially opened the new vessel traffic centre this morning and to have seen for myself some of the state of the art safety systems that will keep commercial and leisure vessels safe in the waters around the Port of Southampton.
“It is great to see ABP investing in Southampton and supporting this Government's efforts to grow our world class maritime industries.”
Earlier in September, 2016 ABP’s Port of Ipswich invested approximately US$213,000 in five new cargo handling grabs to meet an increase in trade of dry bulk materials at the port.