The latest extension to the Port of Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port was officially opened by Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Secretary and Deputy Leader of the House of Commons last week.
The £34m project to extend the port’s 9th berth by 190m was completed by VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster under a joint venture (VSBW). Works to create the new berth and its approaches involved dredging over one million cubic metres of material to enable a steel piled quay wall to be built.
The reclamation of land back from the sea began in April 2014 with the mobilisation of dredging equipment. A piled cell was constructed and filled during tidal conditions. Works to the berth also involved the laying of tracks to enable three new ship-to-shore cranes to operate along the extension.
Dr Coffey was joined at the event by guests including former Minister of State for Transport, Sir Simon Burns MP and local VIP’s.
Ian Cussons, project manager for VSBW said: “We are delighted to have completed the extension which allows the Port of Felixstowe to continue to grow and compete with other ports around the world.
“We utilised a tubular pile design for the extension which reflects the design of the existing berths eight and nine.”
Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of HPH Europe division, added: “The Berth 9 Extension represents the latest phase of development at the Port of Felixstowe. Our programme of continued investment has ensured that the UK remains a destination for direct calls by the latest generation of mega-ships.
“We are committed to ensuring we offer the best facilities and the highest possible levels of service and productivity to all our customers. The new facilities being opened today will help us deliver on this commitment and ensure that the Port of Felixstowe remains the Port of Britain.”
Eighty 18,000+TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) ships have already been handled at the port in 2015 and the 190-metre extension increases the port’s capability to berth two of the world’s largest containerships simultaneously.