Work has started on the first phase of Poole Harbour Commissioners’ master plan which will provide the commercial port with a new 200m-long deep-water quay.
The £10 million project is due for completion by the end of 2017. It should ensure that the port remains competitive, with facilities, including a ro-ro berth, to accommodate a wider range of shipping such as small container ships, and potential to attract new customers such as Dorset windfarm operators and cruise ships.
Jim Stewart, Poole Harbour Commissioners chief executive, said: “We will be able to accommodate vessels up to 220m long in a variety of different sectors including yacht transportation, bulk cargo, short sea containers and project cargo. We expect to see up to 50% increase in cargo tonnage across the quays.
“It will also allow us to take advantage of the rapidly expanding cruise market. At present we can only take smaller cruise ships but, with these new facilities, we will be able to accept visiting cruise ships accommodating over 1,000 passengers”.
BAM Nuttall has been appointed as the main civil engineering contractor. The new quay will need 1,800 tonnes of steel piles, all of which will be delivered by sea.
Most of the material reclamation fill is to be taken directly from the port’s maintenance dredging scheme. This approach removes the need for road deliveries and uses waste products in the new construction. And, to ensure that local companies benefit from this project, all marine plant has been sourced from suppliers in Poole and Southampton.