Monday, September 19, 2016

New Port Development Will Manage Freight Vessels and Pilotage Operations

Environmentally Inclusive Project Will Also Facilitate Training for Staff
Shipping News Feature
UK – Mention Grimsby to most people of a certain age and they still conjure up an image of one of Britain’s most important fishing ports. Sadly those days are mostly gone and the town has declined in many ways since that golden age of the mid twentieth century. Despite having seen its boundaries moved like a tennis rally between Lincolnshire and Humberside, the Port of Grimsby has continued to work under the management of Associated British Ports (ABP) shipping mainly freight such as cars and wind farm equipment, and now comes news of further investment with the development of a £5 million state-of-the-art Marine Control Centre.

The new facility, which will be arranged over four floors, will replace the existing Vessel Traffic Services centre at Spurn Point, which has become increasingly difficult to access by land because of the progressive deterioration of the peninsula. The building will be located on the port estate at Grimsby between the Fish Dock and Royal Dock overlooking the lower Humber and will provide capacity for ABP Humber’s marine department, including Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and pilotage operations. The build will also involve an upgrade of IT and VTS equipment, as well as radar systems. ABP Director Humber Simon Bird explained:

“The regeneration of Grimsby as a major port means it requires an additional level of marine oversight and control. As the Statutory Harbour Authority for the Estuary and for the ports of Immingham, Grimsby, Hull and Goole we have a responsibility to manage marine operations to the standards set by the Port Marine Safety Code so all users can navigate the river safely. It makes sense to combine these functions under one roof in a new purpose-built Humber Marine Control Centre and offer our customers and river users the best possible service.”

Scunthorpe-based construction and civil engineering firm Britcon has been appointed as ABP’s main contractor. Work began at the end of August and is expected to last nine months, with the steel frame and pre-cast stairs being erected during October and November. As one might expect from a port so dependent on ecologically friendly cargo the project will also incorporate a number of environmental measures, including rain water recycling, motion sensors on LED lighting and solar panels and ground heat exchangers.

Over its lifespan the new building will deliver an estimated carbon saving of 3,725 tonnes. In addition, a new VTS training centre will also be established at the port so ABP can provide initial and refresher training to internationally recognised standards for staff from across the group and, potentially, to the wider marine community.

Photo: Piling work taking place at the site of the new Humber Marine Control Centre at the Port of Grimsby.