Port overcomes ‘perfect storm’ to make progress on Liverpool2

£300m shipping terminal project getting back on schedule after winter battering.


Project director Doug Coleman on site at Liverpool2 where piles are being driven into the river bed to create new dock facilities

Hidden from Seaforth’s busy A565 by stacks of shipping containers and grain silos is a hive of industry where 300 staff are toiling round the clock to deliver Peel Ports’ new £300m Liverpool2 shipping terminal.

While the daily hustle and bustle of port operations carries on regardless, teams of international specialists in their field are working on four key projects linked to the new river berth which will be able to handle the world’s biggest container ships, capable of carrying 13,500 containers, when the widened Panama Canal opens in just over a year.

First is the creation of Liverpool2’s new berths and dockside facilities by sinking 345 tubular piles into the river, then infilling with 3 million tonnes of sand to reclaim an area the size of 10 football pitches.

The teams are also widening the gate into the Gladstone Dock, which involves replacing an existing underwater sewerage pipe and laying new services, like telecoms cabling.

A new biomass storage facility is being built to supply a major power station operator, and Peel is building an eight kilometre 33,000 volt ring around the container terminal to provide the extra electrical power which such a huge development will need.

Liverpool2 will create 412 Peel Port jobs, and 1,800 knock-on roles in logistics industries.

Project director Doug Coleman is leading the entire scheme and took ECHO Business on an exclusive tour of the site to view its progress.

Work was interrupted by the severe weather that battered Britain  between November last year and February and Mr Coleman admitted he is still trying to get back on schedule.

He said: “I have worked in this industry for 40 years and can’t remember having to close sites down due to bad weather, but on Liverpool2 we had to close it three times. We had Force 12 hurricane winds of up to 78mph. Waves tossed 5-tonne rocks off the sea wall onto the dock roads.”

One of three special jack-up barges being used for river piling was being towed from Morocco to the Mersey but was delayed for weeks in Northern France by the stormy conditions. Mr Coleman said: “We were hit with the perfect storm in the sense we had procured this equipment but could not get it to site, which was immensely frustrating.”

Weather conditions were so bad that at one stage there were 88 vessels waiting off the Welsh coast for the storms to abate to enter Liverpool.

But Peel has now brought in extra plant and Mr Coleman said: “As each day goes by we are getting back on schedule. We’re anticipating delivering the project on the original contract towards the end of 2015.”

Liverpool2 was first mooted by Peel in 2004 and it went to the board in 2007 for approval.

It was a momentous point in the port’s history with the choice of either exiting the container business altogether, or responding to its needs and committing to huge investment to ensure access for the vessels of the future.

Peel decided to invest and it is likely that its decision gave it “first movement advantage” over ports like Bristol, which has opted not to compete in the post-Panamax sector.

With Liverpool2’s opening still more than a year away it is too early for shipping lines to formally commit to using the port.

But Peel Ports’ group operations director Gary Hodgson told ECHO Business: “We are getting a very positive response from both the cargo owners and shipping lines.

“They recognise that we’re building something very special here – a world-class port which is future-proofed to  cope with the biggest container vessels in the world.

“They see the huge cost and carbon-reduction benefits of unlocking the logjam currently caused by using Southern ports to ship cargoes bound for customers in the North.”

For more news from the Liverpool Echo visit liverpoolecho.co.uk


Date created: May 8, 2014

i’m liverpool

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 + = fifteen

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Be the first to find out
about our new stories and events