Dredging contractor appointed for major UK channel deepening project in the Harwich Haven

21 July 2021

Harwich Haven Authority announces that following a rigorous tendering process they have awarded the contract to deepen the Harwich approach channel and the Harbour to a joint venture of Dutch dredging contractors, Royal Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord.

This nationally significant improvement project, costing approximately £120 million, is privately financed by the Harwich Haven Authority, one of the UK’s largest trust ports.

The approach channel and inner Harbour will be deepened to a depth of -16 metres below Chart Datum metres from its current depth of -14.5 metres Chart Datum.

The additional depth in the harbour and seaward approaches will provide deep-water access, unrivalled in the UK for the growing numbers of super-sized vessels engaged on the essential trades between China and the UK , that visit the Haven ports each year.  

The initiative will futureproof the capabilities of Haven Port operators, particularly the UK’s largest container port, the Port of Felixstowe to ensure that it can meet the requirements of customers and of the United Kingdom to keep trade flowing into and out of the country.

The dredging project will commence in the autumn of 2021 and will last approximately 18 months.

Neil Glendinning, Chief Executive Officer, Harwich Haven Authority, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Royal Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord on our first major capital dredging project in the Haven since 2000.

“It’s a hugely significant project, not just for Haven port operators but for the wider UK economy. Currently, more than 40% of the UK’s containerised goods arrive in the Haven each year. It’s a vital trade gateway and our investment will ensure it continues to compete with other European ports.”

Paul M. de Jong on behalf of the Boskalis Westminster – Van Oord Joint Venture, added: “We are proud to execute this important dredging project to deepen the approach channel to Harwich Haven and allow unimpeded access of the latest generation container vessels to the Port of Felixstowe and are looking forward to working with the Harwich Haven Authority.”

For further information, interview requests and images to:
Fiona Brunning, Corporate Affairs Manager | +44 (0) 1255 252310 / +44 (0) 7425 632090 | [email protected] | www.hha.co.uk

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