DP World plans to open its London Gateway development, including a 9 million sq ft logistics park, in the final quarter of 2013.
The deepwater shipping port will have an initial capacity of 1.6 million TEUs and will create some 36,000 jobs, with more than 800 people already working on the construction. DP World reckons this will provide some £3.2 billion to the UK economy each year.
Simon Moore, chief executive of London Gateway said: “London Gateway will offer a unique proposition to British cargo owners. Importers and exporters will be provided greater choice and opportunity to take costs out of their supply chains and reduce their environmental impact.”
DP World has been laying the foundations for the new port since early 2010 and is expecting to invest a further £640m ($1bn) in London Gateway over the next three years.
London Gateway is being developed on the old Shellhaven site at Stanford-le-Hope some 25 miles east of London.
So far about 1,000 km of the sea bed has been dredged, reclaiming the land which will form the foundation of the site. The new land already extends 400m further into the water than the previous sea wall.
The operator also awarded port equipment contracts to ZPMC and Cargotec. ZPMC will provide mounted gantry cranes and eight quay cranes, to handle vessels of 18,000 TEU capacity. Cargotech will provide automated stacking cranes and straddle carriers.
Business secretary Vince Cable, and shipping minister Mike Penning joined DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, vice chairman Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah, chief executive Mohammed Sharaf at London Gateway today to mark the formal announcement.
Cable said: “The new port and park facility will save UK business millions of pounds every year in land transport costs. An estimated 65 million road freight miles every year will be saved as many goods will no longer need to be transported from deep sea ports to inland distribution centres. Instead, goods will be sent straight into the new London Gateway Logistics Park and then directly to shops and homes.”
Cable also stressed the importance of the project for Britain’s reputation as the EU’s largest beneficiary of inward investment.