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American Shipper

ABP to double Southampton’s capacity

ABP to double Southampton’s capacity

   Associated British Ports, recently taken over by Goldman Sachs-led consortium Admiral Acquisitions, said Wednesday it plans to nearly double the container capacity at Southampton Container Terminals, which it jointly owns with DP World.

   ABP aims to raise the terminal’s capacity to at least 3.7 million TEUs, from its current 2 million TEUs. The project will involve the conversion of two berths currently used for storing cars.

   The terminals operator said the scheme was motivated by the British government’s rejection in 2004 of its proposed 3.5-million-TEU complex in nearby Dibden Bay.

   “Having learnt much from our recent successful developments on the Humber, and from the protracted Dibden Terminal-application process, we believe our current strategy for Southampton represents one of the most sustainable container-expansion plans currently being considered in the U.K.,” said Bo Lerenius, ABP’s chief executive.

   “The Regional Development Agency fully supports this strategy, which could potentially form a model for sustainable port development,” said James Brathwaite, chairman of the South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA). “Southampton is a vital hub for international trade and represents an important economic generator for the South-East and the rest of Britain. We look forward to working with ABP to develop these plans further.”

   Earlier this year, the British government gave the go-ahead to Hutchison Ports for a 1.7-million-TEU capacity terminal at Bathside Bay in Harwich, and the 1.5-million-TEU Felixstowe South project. The government also told DP World that it intends to approve the 3.5-million-TEU London Gateway project that the Dubai-based port operator inherited with the purchase of P&O Ports.

   In a related development, ABP said it will invest '4.1 million ($7.7 million) improving the handling and storage facilities at the Port of Southampton’s Bulk Terminal, including a new mobile harbor crane and multi-purpose transit shed, for completion next year

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