Initial dredging works have begun at the Port of Felixstowe, UK’s largest container port.
Works are being carried out to extend the port’s Berth 9 by 190 metres.
VSBW Joint Venture, a consortium of VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster, has been appointed as the lead contractor to carry out the works which will increase the combined lengths of Berths 8 and 9 to a total of 920 metres, offering further space to berth the world’s largest box carriers.
Dredging of the site began on April 12th 2014. The Boskalis Westminster dredger, Causeway, will move one million cubic metres of material before construction begins in the summer.
Piling of the new steel-piled quay wall will begin later in the year with an estimated completion date slated for 2015. The new extension will boast three new ship-to-shore gantry cranes (STS), each with a 25-container wide outreach.
Commenting on the project, Clemence Cheng, Hutchinson Ports (UK) limited chief executive officer said “the scale of operations at the Port of Felixstowe already gives us the ability to berth more large container ships simultaneously than other ports in the UK.
“The new extension will increase the berthing permutations we can offer and continue to ensure that we turn our customers' vessels around in the quickest possible time.
“Felixstowe’s location closest to the main shipping lanes and the ports of Northern Europe already saves our customers both time and money. Combined with the best road and rail connections to serve the UK, the new extension will further extend our advantage as the port-of-choice for deep-sea container ship operators.”
Ian Cussons, VSBW project manager said that the consortium was “delighted to secure the contract for the Berth 9 extension at Felixstowe and are ready to mobilise all the necessary resources in the very near future. The tubular pile design is very similar to the existing Berths 8&9 and will be built to allow the water alongside to be dredged to 18 metres.”