Extension of berths 8 & 9 to allow simultaneous call of world’s largest containerships
The Port of Felixstowe has received the green light from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to extend its newest container handling facility in order to accommodate the next generation of mega vessels.
Expansion of berths 8 & 9 will enable Britain’s largest port to handle two 18,000 TEU container vessels.
Work will begin on constructing the 190-metre extension later this year, with an operational date set for 2015.
The project will involve dredging 740,000 metres of material to enable the berth and new steel-piled quay wall to be built.
Felixstowe is the only port in the UK to have handled the 18,000 TEU sized vessels that operate in European-Asian trade.
The 400-metre long vessels were introduced by Maersk last year.
Opened in 2011, Berths 8 & 9 has cranes large enough to deal with the mega vessels; however the quay is 70 metres too short to deal with docking two of the vessels.
Speaking of the confirmation, Clemence Cheng, CEO of Hutchinson Ports UK said: “We welcome MMO’s decision to consent to the extension of Berths 8 and 9 by 190m at the Port of Felixstowe.
“This scheme represents the latest in a long line of investments by HPUK at the Port of Felixstowe. We opened Berths 8 and 9 in November 2011 and this new extension will allow us to offer more berth-windows and greater flexibility to our customers.
“This is an important investment as it will increase our ability to berth a greater number of the very largest container vessels in the future.”
The quay extension will raise the total berth length for container vessels at Felixstowe to over 3,250 metres, serviced by 37 ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes.
Construction is estimated to take place over 11 months.