Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited has announced that it has contracted through a subsidiary to acquire 250 acres of land at Bathside Bay in Harwich from Sea Containers Properties Ltd.
Bathside Bay adjoins Harwich International Port, which will be further developed as a new container facility within the Harwich Haven ports area, which includes the UK’s largest terminal at Felixstowe.
An Act of Parliament was enacted in 1988 consenting to construction of a port on Bathside Bay. It is Hutchison’s intention to commence the development within 18 months. When complete, the development will provide capacity for handling 1.7 million TEU of containers per annum with a quay length of over 1,400 metres, which will be capable of handling concurrently four deep-sea container vessels.
Road and rail infrastructure is already in place servicing the present Harwich International Port. The development is expected to generate a significant number of jobs in the Port and substantially more in related industries, thus providing a major economic investment into Harwich and the north east Essex region.
Upon completion, Harwich International Port will boast a total quay length of 3,000 metres, with six container berths and six Ro-Ro berths, in addition to tanker and dry bulk facilities.
Chris Gray, Chief Executive of Hutchison’s UK ports group, said:
“This acquisition provides an important opportunity for Harwich and will avoid foreseeable capacity problems in the ports’ industry which will affect the whole of the UK during the next few years. Our ability to develop new deep sea container ship facilities quickly to meet the volumes of global traffic is of prime concern if the country is to continue enjoying prosperous economic growth.”
Harwich International Port, which currently handles a significant amount of ferry traffic, is the largest employer in the area. Mr Gray added:
“By combining this new development with the existing Port we are able to generate greater benefits for lower cost, both financial and environmental, than if it was a stand alone facility. We will be consulting widely with the local community and will take their views into account in preparing a detailed development programme. As well as creating a substantial number of direct jobs, we expect many more to be generated in supporting industries and services.”
Paul Rann, Managing Director of Sea Containers Property, said:
“We are delighted to have agreed the sale of Bathside Bay with Hutchison Ports and believe this step marks a great day for the future of Harwich.
“Having secured the necessary legislation through Parliament to allow the construction of port facilities at Bathside Bay, it is particularly pleasing to see Hutchison Ports taking the development on to its next level.”