The proposed deepening of the fairway of the Lower and Outer Elbe is intended to allow container ships with a maximum draught of 14.5 m unhindered access to and from the port. Planning permission was applied for in March, but a number of objections were raised, and the developers have modified their proposals in response. The main changes relate to the disposal of dredged material and other ecological concerns.
The future timetable cannot be predicted accurately at this stage, according to the HPA, but public hearings will probably take place in the first quarter of next year and, if permission is then granted, dredging may start before the end of 2009. The work is expected to take around 21 months, but shipping may benefit from a deeper channel just months after the project starts.
Meanwhile, the remaining four of five twin 40 ft container gantry cranes from manufacturer ZPMC arrived at Berth 2 of Hamburg’s Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) in mid-September. HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai took a particularly close interesting in the construction process, appointing Hamburg Port Consulting (HPC) to monitor it in Shanghai. HPC assigned two mechanical engineers to inspect progress on a daily basis, including material cutting and assembly of the crane, with particular attention to welding seams and testing procedures.