Peel Ports today announced it has commenced the procurement phase for the construction of its new deep-water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool.
It was also revealed that the landmark terminal, which will bring some of the world’s largest container ships to the Mersey, will be branded Liverpool 2 – and will be open for business in 2015, providing shippers and lines with a new and direct route to the heart of the UK.
The new terminal will accommodate two vessels of up to 13,500 teu at a time. It will allow shipping lines to connect to the UK’s major trade centres in the most cost efficient manner.
It will also facilitate improved trans-shipment links to Ireland and Scotland through Liverpool’s existing services, allowing shipping lines to benefit from a lower cost, reduced transit time and higher frequency service whilst enabling an equalisation of equipment imbalances that exist around the British Isles.
Importers and exporters will also benefit as the terminal will enable a much cheaper route to market whilst simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of the total journey. These benefits arise from the significant reduction in land-based mileage that result from the container terminal being located in the centre of the British Isles.
This will be the largest boost to employment creation and the local economy since the development of the Liverpool ONE city centre retail complex, delivering over 5000 jobs.
Liverpool 2, which will have an estimated overall cost in excess of £300m, is the key project in the Mersey Ports Master Plan, the 20-year vision for growth and future developments at the Port of Liverpool and on the Manchester Ship Canal – launched by Peel Ports last summer.
The development consists of the construction of a new deep water container terminal in the River Mersey, thus avoiding the vessel size restrictions of the current container terminal.
Liverpool 2 will connect directly to a number of port centric logistics hubs along the Manchester Ship Canal via barge – resulting in the development of the UK’s first “green logistics hub” which will reduce costs, congestion and carbon footprint for businesses located in the North West of England, serving the North of the UK.
This will allow global shippers to access the UK’s major import centres via the most economic and lowest carbon route and provide Northern-based exporters with a more competitive route to market.
Peel Ports Mersey Managing Director Gary Hodgson said: “There is no doubt that this facility represents a transformational project for the business. It will bring jobs and economic prosperity to the Merseyside region along with the rest of the North West. The scale of these benefits is recognised by the name Liverpool 2 – with the new terminal being the biggest boost to the area since the construction of the Liverpool ONE development in 2008. We believe it is an appropriate brand, and one that will become known throughout the world as our new container terminal brings customers to the North West from all points of the compass from South America to the Far East.
“By any standard it is a significant development and a major investment. By commencing the procurement process today, we have shown our commitment to the building of Liverpool 2.
“This is a clear message to the industry, to our stakeholders and to the community in the Merseyside Region and the greater North West that we are serious about the growth and investment we outlined in the Mersey Ports Master Plan consultation last year. It is great news for our customers and for the people of the North West of England, both of whom will see massive benefits from Liverpool 2.”
Hodgson assured the local community that the impact of construction will be minimised whilst the benefit is maximised. He said: “Where possible, we will source goods and services locally, however when we need to source goods over a longer distance, we will seek to transport construction materials by sea directly to the Port.”
The construction programme comprises of a new 854 metre quay wall, the in-filling of the newly created land-mass, the dredging of a new 16.5 metre deep berthing pocket adjacent to the quay wall, the installation of ship to shore quay cranes and modern cantilever rail mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) and associated supporting infrastructure works.
Specifically the advertisements issued today are for:
• A contractor to act in the role of principal contractor for the development of the terminal.
• A contractor to undertake a package of dredging, infilling and quay wall construction work.
Further packages of work will be advertised during the second quarter of 2012, which will include design and consultancy services.
The start of the procurement process follows the recent appointment of Douglas Coleman, one of the UK’s most experienced ports project directors, as Programme Director for the Liverpool 2 project.
Coleman said: “The commencement of the procurement process is a landmark stage in the development of the Liverpool 2 container terminal, and we anticipate massive interest from companies throughout the ports construction industry. This is a technically complex project, but eminently achievable.”
Coleman also explained the thinking behind the use of CRMGs instead of the more traditional straddle carriers. He said: “CRMGs are a highly-efficient use of space. We have given this great thought, and the adoption of CRMG technology also means that ships are going to be serviced very quickly. They are more modern than our current straddle carrier operation, and are a high-technology solution. This will be one of the UK’s most modern container terminals, and that includes the crane technology.”
The sheer scale of the Liverpool 2 project can be shown by the quantities of materials which are needed in the construction phase – with the quay wall requiring 30,000 metres3 of concrete, 15,000 metres of steel piles and 6100 metres of new crane rails. Dredging of the berthing pocket will remove around one million metres3 of material from the Mersey; and almost three million metres3 of infill material will be required to create the new container area.
Associated infrastructure will require the construction of 3500 metres of new road, 230,000 metres2 of surfacing and 2500 metres of fencing.
World Maritime News Staff, March 5, 2012; Image: MerseyDocks