At a formal ceremony in Shanghai yesterday, a multi-million dollar contract was signed between UK port operator Peel Ports and engineering firm ZPMC to boost future bilateral trade opportunities between the UK and China.
With an investment of over US$510 million, Peel Ports will redevelop and expand the existing port of Liverpool, thereby creating Liverpool2, a deep-water port that will be able to accommodate 95% of the world’s container fleet, including post-Panamax vessels.
ZPMC will supply eight ship-to-shore (STS) quay cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) for the Liverpool2 project.
After visiting ZPMC’s engineering facilities at Changxing and Nantong, Peel Ports CEO Mark Whitworth said: “China has a long history of trading with the UK and Liverpool2, located at the heart of Great Britain, will offer a more direct trading
route for cargo coming from China to reach over 65% of the UK population who live within 240km of Liverpool.
UKPrime Minister David Cameron welcomed the Liverpool2 investment as a more efficient method of transporting goods to the north of the UK, thereby bypassing southern ports such as Southampton and Tilbury.
The UK is China’s 3rd largest source of imports. UK goods imports from China reached US$56.8 billion in 2013, growing 6% year-on-year and 9% since 2010.