A shift in demand for sector services across UK ports, and an over capacity in the UK market, is changing the trading landscape and the new developments and regeneration happening at each port.
Our Ports Development Conference heard about the ongoing major projects and future plans – including the biggest port project currently in the pipeline at Aberdeen Harbour. Aberdeen’s port has become the hub for the north east coast of Scotland’s booming offshore wind industry.
The £350m project, which will create Scotland’s largest port facility is 70 per cent built and will be complete by the end of this year, said Chief Executive Michelle Handforth. By creating more than 1400m of new quays in Nigg Bay to the south of the existing harbour, the port’s total berthage area will increase to 7.3ha.
The new harbour will be able to handle vessels up to 300 m long, double the length that can be accommodated in the existing harbour. And depths of up to 10.5m will enable the new harbour to operate round the clock, unconstrained by the weather or tides. The new development will create 125,000 sq m of quayside lay down area.
At the opposite end of the UK, the conference heard how the Port of Dover is undertaking its own £200m major expansion. The UK’s busiest port is redeveloping its Western Docks, where the cross-Channel hovercraft docked until it ceased operations in 2005.
The footprint of the hovercraft port is being reclaimed to create two new berths, 300m and 250m long respectively. Both will include new cargo terminals, including a refrigerated food storage facility. In addition, a new navigation channel is being cut into the walls of the listed Wellington dock, enabling it to be opened up to become a marina.
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