Peel Ports embarks on £300m river terminal

Peel Ports started the procurement phase for the construction of the long-awaited deep-water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool on Monday.

The landmark in-river terminal, designed to attract far larger container ships to the Mersey than can currently be handled, will be branded Liverpool 2, in recognition, Peel Ports said, of its status as the largest investment in the city since Grosvenor's Liverpool One retail scheme.

Liverpool 2Liverpool 2 is scheduled to be open for business in 2015. The new terminal will accommodate two vessels with capacities of up to 13,500 teu (twenty foot equivalent units) at a time. The port currently handles ships of 3,000 teus.

Peel Ports said: "[The new infrastructure] will allow shipping lines, exporters and importers to connect to the UK's major trade centres in the most cost efficient and carbon friendly manner – as a result of the container terminal being located in the centre of the British Isles.

"This will be the largest boost to employment creation and the local economy since the development of the Liverpool One city centre retail complex, delivering over 5,000 jobs."

Advertisements for the project were today published in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union and signal the commencement of the procurement phase.

The notice invites potential bidders to submit a pre-qualification questionnaire and the short-listed companies will then be invited to tender for the work packages.

Liverpool 2, which will have an estimated overall cost in excess of £300m, is the key project in the Mersey Ports 20-year masterplan, launched by Peel Ports last summer. The development consists of the construction of a new deep water container terminal in the River Mersey, thus avoiding the vessel size restrictions of the current container terminal.

There will be a new 854-metre quay wall, an in-filled newly created land-mass in the river, a dredged 16.5-metre deep berthing pocket adjacent to the quay wall, ship-to-shore quay cranes and modern cantilever rail mounted gantry cranes and associated supporting infrastructure works.

Specifically the advertisements issued today are for:

Further packages of work will be advertised during the second quarter of 2012, which will include design and consultancy services.

Liverpool 2 will connect directly to a number of Ship Canal berths via barge, aimed at reducing costs, congestion and carbon footprint for businesses located in the North West of England serving the North of the UK.

Gary Hodgson, managing director of Peel Ports, said: "There is no doubt that this facility represents a transformational project for the business. It will bring jobs and economic prosperity to the Merseyside region along with the rest of the North West. The scale of these benefits is recognised by the name Liverpool 2, with the new terminal being the biggest boost to the area since the construction of the Liverpool One development in 2008. We believe it is an appropriate brand, and one that will become known throughout the world as our new container terminal brings customers to the North West from all points of the compass from South America to the Far East.

"By any standard it is a significant development and a major investment. By commencing the procurement process today, we have shown our commitment to the building of Liverpool 2.

"This is a clear message to the industry, to our stakeholders and to the community in the Merseyside Region and the greater North West that we are serious about the growth and investment we outlined in the Mersey Ports Master Plan consultation last year. It is great news for our customers and for the people of the North West of England, both of who will see massive benefits from Liverpool 2."

Hodgson added: "Where possible, we will source goods and services locally, however when we need to source goods over a longer distance, we will seek to transport construction materials by sea directly to the port."

Davis Langdon advises Peel Ports.

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