Suffolk/Essex: Harwich Haven Authority completes �3.5m investment

THE Harwich Haven Authority has celebrated the completion of two major investments to ensure the provision of top-quality navigation and pilotage services in one of the UK’s busiest harbours.

In a combined celebration, a �1.5million upgrade of the authority’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) facility was officially opened by Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich, and the second of its new state-of-the-art pilot launches, the St Christopher, was formally named by Baroness Jenkin.

The Harwich Haven Authority (HHA), is a “trust port”, a statutory harbour authority, which provides services for shipping using the commercial ports of Felixstowe, Harwich International, Harwich Navyard, Ipswich and Mistley. It also provides pilot boarding and landing services for vessels bound for the rivers Thames, Medway, Blackwater, Colne and Crouch.

The VTS upgrade, covering systems hardware and software, was in the main undertaken by Signalis (previously known as Atlas), a German and French consortium that specialises in the field.

The upgrade has delivered the latest traffic monitoring and management technology, enabling the Harwich VTS system safely and efficiently to manage and optimise some 15,000 vessels movements a year to and from the Haven Ports.

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As well as the VTS upgrade, the HHA has also completed an upgrade of its internal and external communications system, with Cyfas Ltd commissioned to provide the equipment and software solutions to enable the switch from analogue to digital communication technology.

The new launch, the St Christopher, is the second of its class to be delivered by UK boatbuilder Holyhead Marine. The first, the St Brendan, was delivered in 2010.

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Together, the two vessels represent an investment of �2million, with two more planned.

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