The Port of Felixstowe has announced plans for expansion that include doubling port capacity to accommodate the world’s largest vessels by 2030.
The UK’s largest port, owned by Hutchison Ports UK, awarded the lead contract to expand its berthage to the Volker Stevin and Boskalis Westminster (VSBW) consortium. The extension will increase the combined lengths of berths eight and nine, which opened in 2011, to 3,018 ft.
The development will enable the port to permit two megaships with capacities of up to 21,000 teu to berth simultaneously. The strength of the quay wall allows the berths to be dredged to 59 ft or 16 m alongside depth.
The first phase of development at the berths includes the acquisition of 10 ship-to-shore cranes (STS) from ZPMC, along with three additional ZPMC cranes when the current development is complete.
Mark Seaman, HPUK finance director said: “We handled over 4.1m teu in 2014, which puts us above pre-recession levels. We have over 4,000 ship calls annually, are now at 200 crane moves an hour and service around 33 shipping lines that operate some 90 services to and from 365 ports around the world. More and more containers are arriving on mega-vessels.”
Felixstowe has broken two records this year already having handled the largest ship in its history, the 19,100 teu CSCL Globe, before breaking the feat again in March, handling the MSC Oscar with 19,224 teu.
Other projects include building berth 10, while the port has also applied for planning permission for the Bathside Bay project across the estuary in Harwich that would give it an 8m teu capacity.