The Port of Feixstowe has completed the strengthening and dredging works to Berth 7 on Trinity Terminal, which will improve its deep-water berthing capacity.
The berth upgrade, together with a programme to extend the outreach of 10 ZPMC quay cranes to 23 boxes wide on Berths 6 & 7, are in direct response to the increasing size and depth of the world’s largest container vessels, said the Hong Kong-based port operator Hutchison Ports, which owns Felixstowe.
Berth 7, which is one of the Port of Felixstowe’s nine container berths, has been dredged from 15.0 to 16.5m below chart datum and the berth box widened from 55 to 70m.
“As the number of ultra-large container ships continues to grow we will continue to improve and upgrade our facilities to meet the needs of our customers,” commented Chris Lewis, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports Felixstowe.
The 19,630TEU Manila Maersk, operated on the 2M Alliance’s AE6/NEU3 service to Asia, was the first vessel to use the deeper berth. With a departure draught of 15.6m, the vessel was the deepest ever to be berthed at Trinity Terminal.
Boskalis Westminster Limited was the appointed dredging contractor for the project and used a combination of backhoe dredger, the ‘Nordic Giant’ with a bucket size of 13m3, and trailing suction hopper dredgers to undertake the works.
“Berths 8&9 are designed for a maximum depth of 18m and the next phase of development will see further increases to the depths at Berths 6, 8 and 9,” noted Lewis who added, “The deeper berths are being complemented by dredging planned by Harwich Haven Authority to increase the depth of the approach channel to up to 16m.”