Modernization of Britain’s New Super-Port Moves Ahead
Giant cranes taller than the London Eye sailed into the Thames Estuary last week and berthed at the UK’s new global shipping port, DP World’s London Gateway, at the end of a two-month sea voyage from China.
The London Eye could be rolled underneath the three new cranes, which measure 138 metres tall at full height.
Weighing 2,000 tonnes each, the cranes are taller than Wembley Stadium’s arch and two-and-a-half times the height of Nelson’s Column. They are the first in the UK to be able to lift four containers at once, which means the world’s largest ships will be unloaded more efficiently in future.
Simon Moore, CEO, DP World London Gateway, said: “London Gateway port, and the combined logistics park, is Britain’s new gateway for global trade. These cranes will bring new innovation and efficiency to the supply chain industry. It won’t be long before importers and exporters across the country will be able to cut costs dramatically from their supply chains by choosing London Gateway, a port which is much closer to where goods need to go.
“A world-class deep-sea container port requires a world-class set of cranes. They will be the lynchpin of the operation – the biggest, most modern and most efficient the UK has ever seen.
Moore added: “We are also working on several aspects of London Gateway, including recruiting hundreds of staff who will operate and maintain equipment; investing millions of pounds into local roads, including the A13 and the M25 motorway; and building 20 kilometres of new rail track to ensure that over 30% of containers can move by rail.”
This first delivery of cranes, built and delivered by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company (ZPMC), a world leader in the development of quay cranes, left Shanghai on January 7. Two more cranes set sail bound for the new port earlier this week and a further 19 cranes are planned for delivery over the coming years.
The cranes will operate on a new quay wall which is 2.7 kilometres in length with foundations that are 16 storeys deep into the ground (50 metres deep).
Andrew Bowen, London Gateway Engineering Director, said: “London Gateway is built on new land created from material that we dredged from the existing shipping channel. So, these new cranes will be operating on land that, up until a few months back, was in the sea.”
The shipping channel has been dredged from 11 metres to 14.5 metres in the inner channel and 16 metres in the outer channel. The berth pockets have been deepened to 17 metres, allowing the world’s largest ships to call at London Gateway.
Bowen continued: “We have more than 2,300 people now employed on-site who are in the final stages of constructing what we believe is the most technologically advanced port in the world, with hundreds more employed behind the scenes. The majority are British engineers and construction companies, which means this is great news for the economy. This really is a fantastic place to work and we are now recruiting heavily for more engineers and operations staff.”
London Gateway is set to create 36,000 jobs at full build out, with some 2,000 directly employed in the port, 10,000 employed in the logistics park, and over 24,000 in-direct and induced jobs being created in the supply chain.
Ahsan Agha, London Gateway’s Mechanical and Electrical Services Manager, is responsible for the design and build of the cranes. When the cranes arrived, he said: “These cranes are what London Gateway is all about. They are future-proofing Britain’s ability to trade with the rest of the world and I’m proud to see them arrive. It’s a huge step forward for the whole team at London Gateway.”
Press Release, March 4, 2013