DUBAI (AFP) – Dubai’s port operator said on Wednesday it has awarded a 745 million dollars contract to British firm Laing O’Rourke and Belgium’s Dredging International for the first phase of a project to develop a port and business park in Britain.
This is the first major contract granted in the 1.5 billion pounds (2.8 billion dollars) London Gateway project, DP World, one of the world’s largest container port operators, said in a statement.
The London Gateway project, announced by DP World in November 2006, aims to develop “the most technically advanced container port in the world, integrated with Europe’s largest logistics park,” the statement said.
The 400 million pounds (745 million dollars) five-year contract awarded on Wednesday “will see the construction of the first phase of the port’s quay providing three berths and over 1.2 kilometres of quay,” it said.
The new port in South Essex “will eventually handle 3.5 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent units), providing a much needed increase in capacity for the UK’s container terminals,” the statement added.
The Dubai government-controlled DP World became one of the world’s top three container port operators after its 6.9-billion-dollar acquisition of Britain’s Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co two years ago.
DP World said that construction work will begin later this year at the 1,500 acre site, on the former Shell Haven oil refinery near Thurrock. The logistics park is due to open in the latter half of 2010, with the first ships arriving in early 2011.