Felixstowe: Port still awaiting final approval for finger quay

It is proposed to add a 190-metre extension to the southern end of the new Port of Felixstowe South

It is proposed to add a 190-metre extension to the southern end of the new Port of Felixstowe South container terminal. - Credit: Archant

Government officials have still not decided proposals for a 190-metre “finger quay” extension to enable Britain’s premier port to handle two of the world’s biggest ships at the same time.

Executives at the Port of Felixstowe are waiting for final approval for the project, though as yet no timescale has been drawn up for its construction.

Meanwhile, the terminal’s newest rival, London Gateway, is still on course to open in late autumn.

The new stretch of quay at Felixstowe will be added to the £300m extension opened in September 2011 by the Princess Royal.

It will be 190m long, 94m wide and take 11 months to build and it is understood the port was hoping to have it completed by 2015.

It has already received the blessing of Suffolk Coastal council but has now gone to the Department of Transport for officials to give final approval.

In a report, the head of planning services at Suffolk Coastal, Philip Ridley, said: “It is also recognised that for the port to remain competitive it must be capable of servicing these new larger ships coming on to the market, and therefore meeting the operational demands of its customers, otherwise they will go elsewhere.”

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New super-size ships being launched this year will be 400m long and while the 730m south quay has cranes big enough for the ships, it is 70m or so short for two to berth at once.

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