ABP dredging to go ahead
Associated British Ports (ABP) has received the necessary marine licence to carry out a key component of its dredging programme in the Port of Southampton, further improving marine access for large container vessels.
The removal of 450,000 m3 of material at the Marchwood Moorings will widen the navigation channel by 30m, improving accessibility, vessel turning and manoeuvrability for container vessels.
The port regularly handles vessels in excess of 13,000 teu and it wants to receive larger ones in future - ABP launched its £150m redevelopment project back in September to help achieve this.
As part of the project, berths 201 and 202 are being redeveloped to cope with larger vessels. The channel widening works will have the added benefit of ensuring that navigational safety standards in the port are maintained.
Doug Morrison, ABP Port Director Southampton, said: “This is another step to ensure that marine access to all container berths meets the future needs of our customers and maintains the port’s position at the forefront of global trade."
Preparation for the dredging works have included the relocation of navigation marks, one of which will be enhanced to support a new weather station and tide gauge to further assist port users.
Preliminary works on the project have already begun using UK Dredging’s UKD Bluefin. Meanwhile, ABP is also carrying out monitoring of water turbidity and has agreed monitoring procedures with a sediment management strategy with the Environment Agency should the need arise.
It is anticipated that a contract for the remainder of the works will be awarded sometime this month and the dredging will be completed by spring 2013.
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