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Published: 10 December 2010      

Site investigation underway for Bristol box terminal

The Bristol Port Company (BPC) has announced the start of marine site investigation works for its planned £600M deepsea container terminal in Avonmouth.

Jack up barge Aran 120A has started sinking boreholes and taking samples of the seabed in one of the most technically demanding civil engineering projects in the UK maritime sector. The information from the samples will add to the port’s existing records and give further certainty about the foundation for the quay wall and the material that will be dredged.

This additional information is needed as the approaches to the terminal will be deep-dredged to allow the world’s largest existing and projected container vessels to dock at virtually any state of the tide. With a depth alongside of 18m, the berths will allow continuous occupation and cargo operation.

BPC recently appointed a consortium called Construct Bristol Terminal (CBT) under an early-contractor-involvement professional services contract to undertake the site investigation work. The companies involved in the consortium are Costain, BAM Nuttall, Westminster Dredging and Van Oord.

The Harbour Revision Order, granted in March 2010, gave BPC permission to build a deepsea container terminal capable of handling up to 1.5M TEU per annum. The UK Government has identified a massive gap in port container capacity. By 2030 the UK will need to be able to handle 20M annually but currently the UK only has capacity for around 7.5M TEU a year.

“Government research shows there is going to be a significant demand for new container capacity but it makes no sense to put this in the already congested South East,” said BPC CEO Simon Bird. “ Bristol is closer to more inland container destinations than any other deep water port and, with direct rail and motorway access right at the port, we will give shipping lines and end customers significant CO2 and cost savings.”

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