Belfast-based Farrans Construction has been appointed to carry out £9m of works to upgrade Gladstone Lock and adjacent quayside infrastructure at the Port of Liverpool.
The improvements will increase efficiency for the transit of vessels within Seaforth Dock at the port. The upgrade includes new fendering around the Gladstone Lock port entry and a re-ordering of quayside activities adjacent to the Royal Seaforth Container Terminal, including the construction of a new quay wall.
Peel Ports said no disruption to business at the Port of Liverpool was envisaged as a result of the works.
The upgrade is one of a series of investments by Peel Ports that will substantially increase operational efficiency at the Port of Liverpool. It comes ahead of the launch of the port's deep-water container terminal, called Liverpool2, which will double the port's current container capacity and see some of the world's largest vessels call directly at Liverpool when it opens for business in 2015.
The current layout of the dock around the Gladstone Lock and Seaforth Docks has been unchanged since 1971 when Seaforth Dock was constructed and the passage between the docks created. The increasing size of modern vessels has led to a need to increase the width of the Seaforth passage in order to improve the necessary turnaround times for the larger vessels within tidal windows.
Passage widening works will include re-routing of electrical and water services between the quay areas on either side of the passage, as well as making provision for future electrical and fibre-optic services around the port. The existing Rimrose Brook sewer will also be extended under the newly widened passage. A new quay wall will be installed and the existing wall demolished, all whilst vessel traffic is maintained. New fenders will be installed on the outer sea wall and within Gladstone Lock to assist the entry of vessels and provide protection to both vessels and the port infrastructure.
Preliminary works have now commenced with completion of the full project expected around December 2014.
Douglas Coleman, programme director for Peel Ports, said: "The Farrans Construction proposals represented a technically robust solution to an extremely challenging and complex project. We look forward to working with the Farrans team to deliver this business-critical project."
Kevin Corley, director of Farrans, said: "This is the first project that Farrans have undertaken for Peel Ports, and we're looking forward to working with them."