South West

Reconstructing the Port of Southampton

A £150 million project, including the reconstruction of a new berth at the Port of Southampton is underway.

The project – being implemented by Associated British Ports (ABP) and DP World Southampton – comprises the reconstruction of Berths 201 and 202 at the Port of Southampton in order to create one new berth. The new berth is required so the existing container terminal can continue to service four of the largest containers ships simultaneously.

Capable of handling the next generation of 16,000 TEU+ vessels, the berth will be approximately 500 metres long and 16 metres in depth. As part of the multi-million pound investment project, up to five ship-to-shore super post-panamax cranes will be installed at the reconfigured berth.

Discussing the need for the new berth, Associated British Ports Engineering Project Manager, Dave Herrod, said:

“Berths 201 and 202 were the first purpose built container berths in Southampton. Since they were built the container terminal has developed further and the port has built four additional berths. Every time we build a new berth we look at the size of ships that would be in use at that time and build the new berths to accommodate the next generation.

“Container ships have grown in size to the extent that berths 201 and 202 are no longer deep enough to accept the mainline container ships that the Port of Southampton receives and the remaining four berths have a limited length. So, there is a need for a new deep water container berth within the container terminal at Southampton and that is what we are currently implementing.

“Once work is complete on this project, the new berth will become the premier container berth in Southampton, capable of taking the biggest, longest, deepest container ships in the world. To the wider community this project is very important as it will continue to maintain the container trade in this area.”

Work began on the new berth project in October 2012, with the initial piling works taking place. The project is currently scheduled to reach completion by December 2013, with the berth becoming operational in January 2014.

Commenting on the project at the start of the works, Chief Executive of Associated British Ports, Peter Jones, said:

“This is a significant investment for ABP and a major step forward in our plans to further develop the Port of Southampton, with its international reputation for competitiveness and ability to respond to customer needs.

“The £150 million investment in the new berth and supporting infrastructure represents a huge vote in confidence in Southampton’s ability to meet the exacting demands of our customers in a new era where ultra-large container carriers are set to become quayside regulars.”

DP World Southampton Managing Director, Chris Lewis, said:

“As the operator of this important facility we welcome this investment by ABP in Southampton. The new berth will ensure we remain globally competitive and successful by being able to handle the largest container vessels afloat.

“Having this new infrastructure capability is vital and underscores Southampton’s position as the first and last deep-sea port of call in Northern Europe for the Far East, with is sheltered location, first-class road and rail distribution links to the Midlands and market-leading service and productivity.”

Specialist construction company, VolkerStevin Limited is the main contractor on the Design & Build project, whilst Mott MacDonald provided the detailed design.

Commenting on their involvement, VolkerStevin Limited Managing Director, Rob Coupe, said:

“The Port’s customers rightly expect the best of operational capability and we look forward to providing that, on time and within budget, through the reconstruction of 201/202 into a world-class berthing facility for our client.”

ABP is Britain’s largest and leading ports group, responsible for around 120 million tonnes a year and employing nearly 2,000 staff across the business. ABP owns and operates 21 ports in England, Scotland and Wales and together with additional transport related businesses it forms a UK-wide network capable of handling every type of cargo.

For more information about ABP, please visit:

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