150 million pound investment at port of Southampton
Yesterday, the port of Southampton saw the official launch of a £150 million investment project aimed at keeping its facilities competitive.
Port owner Associated British Ports is also a joint-venture partner in DP World Southampton, the container terminal operator.
The official lifting of the first paving slab signalled the start of the reconstruction of berths 201 and 202 at the container terminal into a fourth berth for the next generation of ultra-large container carriers.
The new quay will be 500 metres in length and will be capable of handling the next generation of 16,000teu+ vessels. The quay will also include five ship-to-shore super post-panamax cranes and 16 metres of depth alongside.
The scheduled works are due for completion by December 2013 with the berth being operational in Janurary 2014. This will allow the terminal to service four of the largest containerships at the same time.
ULCCs, utilised for their economies of scale, are predicted to account for more than half of the capacity of the world’s container fleet by 2015.
Chief Executive of Associated British Ports, Peter Jones, said,
“The £150 million investment in the new berth and supporting infrastructure represents a huge vote of confidence in Southampton’s ability to meet the exacting demands of our customers in a new era where ULCCs are set to become quayside regulars.
“It will also play a key role in maintaining an estimated 10,000 jobs connected to the operation of the port in the Southampton region.”
Dredging works are still awaiting approval by the Marine Management Organisation. It is hoped that these works will widen and deepen parts of the main approach channel between the Isle of Wight and the port.
A contract for the works was awarded to VolkerStevin, a specialist in quality construction and project management services, by ABP in July following a competitive tendering process.
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