Work has begun on installing steel piling in the river Mersey as a new phase of building the Port of Liverpool’s new deep-water container ship terminal. This is one of the country’s most important infrastructure projects in the country and is known as Liverpool2.
Specialist rock drilling equipment will provide sockets for 329 tubular steel piles each of which weighs 47 tonnes. The piles will provide the backbone for the new in-river terminal and allow a whole new generation of shipping to dock at Liverpool.
Altogether more than 19,000 tonnes of steelwork will be needed for a new 854M (2,800ft) long quay wall, followed by 30,000 cubic metres of concrete to build the capping beam. At almost 30M (100ft) high this is one of the tallest quay walls in Europe.
The Port of Liverpool has been restricted by its lock system to vessels of no more than 4,500 TEU. As container ships have got bigger, Liverpool has lost traffic to southern container ports like Southampton and Felixstowe which can handle larger vessels. The completed quay wall will allow two vessels of up to 13,500 TEU – some of the largest in the world – to dock simultaneously when the terminal opens for business in 2015.
Mark Whitworth, CEO of the Peel Ports Group which owns the Port of Liverpool said: “Our investment in Liverpool2 will enable deep sea vessels to call directly at the most centrally positioned port in the UK, allowing shippers to access a market of more than 35 million consumers within 150 miles.
Liverpool offers an all-water route into the UK’s most populous urban area by way of a frequent feeder service on the Manchester Ship Canal.
“An importer can move their product from anywhere in the world to the heart of the UK – within a stones’ throw of Manchester – without touching an inch of UK road tarmac.”