A major construction project starts this week at Portsmouth International Port to lengthen one of the berths used by ferries and cruise ships.
Berth 2 will be extended by nearly 50 metres. This will improve flexibility at the Port, allowing for a greater number of larger ships to be docked at any one time, and until now the largest vessel able to use the Port has been 210 metres. With the Berth 2 extension this will now increase to 240 metres.
The multi-million pound project has been approved by Portsmouth City Council, owners of the Port. The investment will help secure current customers and attract additional trade, as ships continue to grow in size. In turn, this will help to protect jobs at Portsmouth International Port and in the wider local economy.
Phil Gadd, Ferry Port Manager of Portsmouth International Port, says, “We can never afford to rest on our laurels, and must continue to develop our facilities. Doing nothing is not a viable option as it has became clear that ferry and cruise ship operators are keen to bring bigger ships to Portsmouth. The newly extended berth will offer them a chance to grow their business, and help us sustain jobs in the City”.
The berth will be extended by the construction of two berthing ‘dolphins’, which are connected by walkway bridges. The ‘dolphins’ are built using seven steel piles being sunk into the seabed and placing a prefabricated structure on top of the piles to form the decking.
Local contractors, Trant, have won the contract to construct the extension, and hope to have the work completed by Easter – in time for the start of the busy summer ferry and cruise seasons. There will be no disruption to ferry timetables.
World Maritime News Staff, February 28, 2012; Image: Portsmouth Port