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Southampton Port has been given the go ahead for £80Million redevelopment plans.
Owners, Associated British Ports (ABP) received consent from the Marine Management Organisation for the construction of a new quay wall at Berths 201 and 202 in the Port of Southampton.
Once finished the quay will be 500m in length with a 16m draft and capable of handling the largest container vessels afloat today.
They say without it, the Port could lose out on valuable business as the larger ships will have to go elsewhere and Southampton Port could be marginalised.
Port Director Doug Morrison said:
“This consent allows us to press forward with important works at Berths 201/2. With the size of container vessels continuing to increase, the container terminal can no longer accommodate four of the largest container ships simultaneously – this development will rectify that situation by creating the 'lost' fourth berth.”
The main works, which will involve an investment of approximately £80 million, will commence on site in September 2012 with completion anticipated by the end of 2013.
The consent was received at the same time as Network Rail completed extensive works to upgrade the rail capacity for containers moving between the port and the West Coast Mainline.