The Port of Felixstowe is today (Monday 15th November 2004) celebrating the official opening of the 270-metre extension to its Trinity Terminal, known as Trinity III.2, in a ceremony attended by the Hon Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody MP, Chair of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee.
The original Trinity III extension was completed in 1996, and provided an extra 630 metres of deep-water quay. In October 2000, the Port applied to the government for permission to undertake this final 270-metre expansion of Trinity Terminal, through reclamation of a small amount of additional land in Harwich harbour.
Commenting at the opening ceremony, Richard Pearson, Managing Director of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, said:
“This extension is of enormous significance to the Port of Felixstowe, as it now enables us to berth two of the latest generation of large container vessels simultaneously, and increases our annual handling capacity by 400,000 TEUs. Not only will this help to increase productivity and service levels at the Port, but it will provide us with vital breathing space until we are able to progress our plans for additional capacity through the reconfiguration of Felixstowe South, and the development of Bathside Bay in Harwich.”
“Harwich Haven has a number of key advantages as the location for future container port development. It already enjoys the deepest approach channel of any UK container port, and little additional dredging is required to bring on stream either of the proposed developments. The ports of Harwich and Felixstowe enjoy good road and rail connections, and there are many synergies available through concentrating container facilities in one area. As well as the more obvious operational advantages, these include the important ability to minimise the overall impact upon the environment, and further transport planning benefits from avoiding duplication in investment in road and rail infrastructure. The Haven ports also enjoy an ideal location for container ships that are also calling at ports in Europe.”
The extension increases the total quay length at Trinity Terminal to 2,354 metres, making it one of Europe’s longest continuous container terminals. Dredged to 15 metres alongside, it provides the deepest water available at the Port of Felixstowe.
The first phase of the Trinity III.2 extension, incorporating six hectares of back-up land behind the existing Trinity Terminal, was opened in mid-2003, and increased the Port’s storage capacity by 6,500 TEU.
The Port of Felixstowe is one of the Eastern region’s major employers, and provides employment for over 2,700 people directly. The Port contributes some ¢G70 million per annum to the local economy in wages alone, and over 12,500 people in Suffolk derive their livelihoods from the Port and related industries. The continued success of the Port is essential for both the national and regional economy, and the latest Trinity Terminal extension, along with the proposals for Felixstowe South, will help to secure the future employment of all those that currently rely on the Port for their livelihoods.