Port is ready for ‘superferry’ arrival

HARWICH International Port has completed preparations to receive the new generation of superferries to be introduced by Stena Line later this month.

Testing has been completed on a new “linkspan” bridge to improve facilities for passenger cars and freight at the Essex port.

Designed and fabricated by TTS of Sweden, the new bridge features a double-deck arrangement which allows for simultaneous loading and unloading.

The investment was required to service the two new Stena superferries, which will be introduced on the Harwich-Hook of Holland route during 2010. The first vessel, the new Stena Hollandica, is due in service on May 16, with the Stena Britannica to follow later in the season.

The new ferries, built in Wismar, Germany, have a gross tonnage of 62,000 tonnes, measure 240 metres in length and can accommodate 1,200 passengers, with facilities including restaurants, bars, cinemas, gaming areas and internet facilities.

David Gledhill, chief executive of Hutchison Ports UK Ltd, which owns Harwich International Port, said: “It is important that we are able to provide the best infrastructure available to our customers and this linkspan will ensure that the port can handle increased freight and motorist volumes efficiently as demand grows in the future.”