London pound : 1.5billion Superport Open for Business

After ten years of planning, the eagerly awaited London Gateway Superport opens for business today, after the first ship pulled into dock last night.

The deep-sea container port at Stanford-le- Hope, Essex is worth £1.5 billion of foreign direct investment and is designed to accommodate ultra large container vessels (ULCVs).

The six new deep-water berths at London Gateway will add 3.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) to the nation’s port capacity to meet the infrastructure demand resulting from the growth in ship size.

Labour councillor Andy Smith, Thurrock councillor for regeneration, said: "The project is of enormous importance to the economy and regeneration of this borough. Together, the port and logistics park will provide thousands of jobs. It is one of the largest investment projects in the UK."

8 London Gateway facts:

  • Today marks the operational opening of the first of six berths at London Gateway
  • The port’s second berth is likely to be opened in April 2014 and the third berth opened in 2015.
  • Plans to open the fourth, fifth and sixth berths will be dependant on market demand
  • The first berth will be able to handle 1.3million containers per year.
  • Ten thousand contsruction jobs have been created by the port. The current 300-strong permanent workforce is set to increase to 450 next year and will be around 2,000 by the time the port is complete.
  • A further 10,000 jobs will be created once the logistics park is fully operational.
  • There will be 24 quay cranes - the tallest quay cranes in the world at 137m - by the time all six berths are open. There are currently five in place.
  • The port will be capable of accommodating ships that are 180,000 tonnes, more than three times the size of the first ship the MOL Caledon.
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