The finish line is in sight for construction work to be completed on South Quay, the first phase of Poole Harbour Commissioner’s (PHC) masterplan. On budget and on schedule to be operational from January 2018, the £10 million expansion will draw a close to the ambitious seven-year project.
As the biggest new port development on the south coast for many years, South Quay will provide longer and deeper facilities to enable the port to continue to compete across a much wider range of shipping and marine activities.
Discussions are underway with a number of interested companies, while Cruise and Maritime Voyages have already announced South Quay as a new cruise port for sailing routes in their summer and autumn 2018 programme.
Construction of the new quay required 1,700 tons of steel piles, all of which was delivered by sea. In addition, 150,000 cubic metres of sand material has been used during development with reclamation fill taken directly from the port’s maintenance dredging scheme. With repair work taking place at nearby Poole Bridge, this has removed the need for additional congestion through road deliveries and enabled the use of a ‘waste’ product in the new construction.
BAM Nuttall, one of the UK’s leading civil engineering companies, was appointed as the main contractor by PHC to oversee the project. Once finished, the 200m long x 40m wide deep water quay will be over 9m in depth and able to provide accommodation for vessels up to 200m in length. This will increase the port's capacity for conventional cargoes, and facilitate the ever increasing interest from cruise ships wishing to visit Poole and the surrounding area.
Jim Stewart, PHC’s chief executive, said: “We are very pleased to be nearing completion on this exciting first phase of Poole Harbour Commissioner’s masterplan for the port. Progress has been well managed and serves as a testament to the skilled contractors involved.
“This expansion is essential to competing on a grander shipping scale and opens the doors to a greater variety of customers coming to Poole Harbour in the future. Response has been very positive so far. We are confident Poole will become a key port for cruise companies in the coming years.”
With a focus on the developing shipping market, target areas include cruise liners, yacht transfer vessels, bulk cargo, project cargo and short sea container lines. As part of the Port Master Plan, the new expansion will be able to receive ships of up to 1,000 passengers - with 25 cruise calls expected in 2018, bringing much valued revenue to Poole’s economy.