Dubai firm bags 400 mn pound deal to build new British port

August 21st, 2008 - 11:48 am ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Aug 21 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based leader in maritime terminal operations and development DP World has bagged a £400-million ($744 million) contract to build the first phase of a new container port near London.London Gateway is going to be the most technically advanced container port in the world integrated with Europe’s largest logistics park, according to a DP World statement.

This is the first major contract to be awarded in the £1.5 billion project, scheduled to be built over the next 10 to 15 years.

The 1,500-acre site is just 25 miles from central London on a former Shell Haven oil refinery site at Stanford-le-Hope near Thurrock in south Essex.

The logistics park, which will offer 9.5 million square feet, is due to open in the latter half of 2010, with the first ships arriving in early 2011.

“In an economic climate where the building industry is experiencing a sharp slow down, this is great news for Essex and the UK in general,” Simon Moore, chief executive of London Gateway, said in the statement.

The new project is of great economic importance for Britain as it is set to be the largest creator of new jobs delivering over 12,000 in the coming years, and is the largest investment in the south east of England.

Under the contract, DP World will construct over the next five years the first phase of the port’s quay providing three berths and then over 1.2 kilometres of quay in a joint venture with Laing O’Rourke and Dredging International.

The new port will eventually handle 3.5 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent units).

London Gateway is Britain’s first deep-sea container port to be built in the last 25 years.

“London Gateway is vitally important for today’s UK economy. It will deliver the most efficient and technologically advanced port in the world and much needed deep sea capacity for the UK,” Moore said.

The port will reduce the need for goods to travel inland, and this will save 2,000 trucks from Britain’s highways every day, trucks which normally travel from a port and then return with an empty container to be put back onto a ship.

Part of the Dubai government’s Dubai Holding, DP World is one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world with 45 marine terminals across 25 countries and 13 new developments.

Among its flagship operations is the Jebel Ali port near Dubai, the world’s largest manmade port.

Founded in 1999 as DP Terminals, it was later renamed DP World after a merger with Dubai Ports Authority. In March 2006, it purchased Britain’s Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), which was then the fourth largest ports operator in the world, for $7 billion.

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