Start of dredging works signals start of Liverpool’s new £300 million in-river container terminal project
Peel Ports is celebrating the start of its £300 million in-river container terminal Liverpool2 project, which will allow post-Panamax vessels of up to 13,500 TEU to call the Port of Liverpool for the first time.
The UK port today held a special groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the start of the project’s extensive dredging works, includING the removal of as much as one million cubic metres of material from the seabed, with Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton and former Liverpool manager and captain Kenny Dalglish MBE on hand to kick-off proceedings. The two footballing icons were invited to symbolise the great benefits that Liverpool2, along with Peel Ports’ investments in port hubs along the Manchester Ship Canal, will bring to both the cities of Liverpool and Manchester.
Due to open in 2015, Liverpool2 will enable container ships from around the world to connect directly with the northern half of the UK and Ireland, and so serve a market estimated at around 4 million TEU a year.
“This is the culmination of several years’ hard work, developing the business plan, securing finance and procuring the delivery of the key elements of the scheme,” said Mersey managing director, Gary Hodgson.
“Whether we are talking about developing our role as the hub for the Irish Sea or grabbing the attention of ship operators and traders across the globe, our investment in Liverpool2 will make a huge difference to our commercial offer.”
“This is private sector investment in the nation’s infrastructure, making the UK even more competitive, internationally,” added Hodgson.
Of the £300 million overall construction cost for Liverpool2 £150 million has been funded with a twenty-year European Investment Bank (EIB) loan.
Last month, UK Chancellor George Osborne also announced a £35 million grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund towards the dredging of the approach channel in the Mersey Estuary.