DP World unveils new British berth
DP World has opened its new £100m container handling facility at ABP’s Port of Southampton, designed to handle the largest and deepest container vessels, in a bid to stay competitive.
The 500m quay. SCT 5, was opened by British Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the loading of a golden container on CMA CGM’s 16,000 teu Marco Polo – one of the world’s largest container vessels.
Chris Lewis, managing director, DP World Southampton, said: "The opening is a momentous day in the history of the port, with the 500m long new quay, the first for nearly 20 years, designed to ensure DP World Southampton can continue to handle the very biggest container ships long into the future.”
Marco Polo has been making regular calls throughout 2013 at DP World’s existing berths but with some “movement restrictions”. SCT 5 removes these restrictions and means the berth can now handle three ULCC’s at the same time.
The new berth is equipped with four new Liebherr super post-Panamax cranes, capable of reaching across ships 24 containers wide. A fifth Liebherr crane has been relocated from elsewhere in the terminal to ensure the new berth can turn ships around quickly and efficiently.
James Cooper, chief executive, Associated British Ports, which funded the £100m project, added: "The Port of Southampton supports some 14,730 jobs and contributes around £1 billion to the economy every year. This new quay is vital to safeguard that and allow us to grow the business.”
While the berth has a depth alongside of 16m, DP World has thought ahead so it can be further deepened to 17m to cater for any future growth in vessel size.
The Port of Southampton’s ability to cater for the largest container ships is being further boosted by an ongoing dredging programme, designed to deepen the main approach channel giving greater access and flexibility all year round.
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