The 36 hectare terminal has a 730 m quay with 16 m water depth alongside. It is equipped with seven of the world’s largest container ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, able to serve ships with containers stowed 24-wide on deck. In addition, the new state of the art technology being introduced as part of the expansion will combine greater levels of customer service with reduced carbon emissions.
Operations in the yard, which has a storage capacity of 22,000 teu, with 168 reefer points, will be carried out using 22 RTG cranes.
As part of the project a third rail terminal will be constructed in 2012 with capacity for 30-wagon long trains that will double the port’s rail terminal capacity.
The port believes that the new berths will significantly enhance the UK’s supply chain infrastructure, enabling large container ships coming from East Asia to Europe to add Felixstowe to their ports of call. Currently handling more than 40% of the UK’s container cargo, around £60bn (US$93bn) worth of imports and exports pass through the port each year and the expansion could add a further £20bn (US$31bn) to this figure.
“As container ships get larger it is crucial that ports like Felixstowe stay ahead of the game and ensure the UK is ready for the introduction of the next generation of container ships. Failure to provide facilities for these would mean the world’s most efficient ships could not dock in the UK, driving up the cost of imports and making UK exports less competitive,” said David Gledhill, CEO of Hutchison Ports UK, owners of Felixstowe.
Commenting on the new development, John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said, “During the last decade many exporters concentrated on the European market, however, economic growth in Europe has slowed considerably, whilst growth in East Asia has accelerated. It is therefore essential that the UK is able to export and import goods on a global basis and the expansion at Felixstowe will be a key asset in achieving this.”