Peel Ports Group is investing over USD 512 million (£300 million) to redevelop and expand the existing Port of Liverpool in the North-west of England, creating Liverpool2, a new deep-water port which will be able to accommodate 95% of the world’s container fleet, including the post-Panamax vessels that will travel through the expanded Panama Canal when it opens in 2015.
Peel Ports and Chinese engineering firm ZPMC have signed an agreement for eight ship-to-shore (STS) megamax quay cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) as part of the Liverpool2 project.
As well as signing the USD 170m (£100m) contract, Peel Ports’ Chief Executive Mark Whitworth toured ZPMC’s engineering facilities at Changxing and Nantong as part of a two-day visit to China.
haulage turned in 60 minutes
Whitworth said: “Liverpool2, located at the heart of Great Britain, will offer a more direct trading route for cargo coming from China to reach over 65% of the UK population who live within 240 km of Liverpool.
It will be the quickest and most cost-effective route to market, not just for goods destined for England but also for Scotland, Ireland, North Wales, opening up a new market estimated at four million TEU every year and increasing potential trade between our countries.”
The ZPMC equipment will enable the port to handle two 380m vessels simultaneously with an anticipated 1,500 moves in each tidal window. With semi-automated remote-controlled operation, the cranes will reduce the time taken to transfer containers from port to road or rail, which means 65% of haulage turned round in 30 minutes and 95% of haulage turned in 60 minutes. They will also have the ability to operate at speeds in excess of 30mph and wind speeds of up to 55mph (88kmph).
Liverpool2 will be the centrepiece in a much larger project called Atlantic Gateway, which is a project to develop the area between the cities of Manchester and Liverpool. The development will be backed by USD 85 billion (£50 billion) of investment over 50 years, making it one of the most expensive and expansive development projects in UK history. Its design was also significantly inspired by the Shanghai waterfront.
In 2013, China was Great Britain’s 7th largest market for exports. UK exports to China reached USD 21.1 billion (£12.4 billion) and have been growing by around 17% year-on-year. Exports from China include furniture and furnishings, iron and steel, clothing, games and sports equipment.
The UK is China’s 3rd largest source of imports. UK goods imports from China reached USD 56.8 billion (£33.3 billion) in 2013, growing 6% year-on-year and 9% since 2010.