Sunday, February 23, 2014

Berth Extension Will Allow More Container Shipping Traffic as TEU Handling Capability Doubles

Permission Granted for Further Construction at Suffolk Port
Shipping News Feature

UK – The battle to handle the bulk of Britain’s container borne freight hotted up this week with the announcement by the Port of Felixstowe that it has received permission from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to construct the 190 metre long ‘finger quay’ at the Southern end of berths 8 and 9. This will enable the port to berth two ‘ultra large’ 18,000+ TEU box vessels simultaneously by increasing the overall length enough to manage two of the four hundred metre long vessels at one time.

Felixstowe, under the management of the Hutchison (HPH) Group, is responding to the pressure of DP World’s London Gateway project which is attempting to tempt the major container lines away from its Suffolk rival. Like the Gateway the deep water channel to allow the approach of the new vessels even at low tide, was a major issue and has only been allowed after a detailed environmental impact assessment, something many locals have complained did not take into account the increased erosion which they believe may occur.

The dredging will remove around three quarters of a million cubic metres of material to allow a depth at the berths of up to eighteen metres and Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports UK (HPUK), was clearly pleased with the news that permission had been granted, saying:

“Our commitment to a programme of continuous investment has helped secure our position as the ‘Port of Britain’. This latest phase of development is designed not only for the latest generation of container vessels, but for those that will follow them in future. We welcome the MMO’s decision to consent to the extension of Berths 8 and 9 by 190 metres at the Port of Felixstowe.

“This scheme represents the latest in a long line of investments by HPUK at the Port of Felixstowe. 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. 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.”