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Photographer's Note

Svitzer tugs Shotley and Intrepid, plus these two at the new tug pontoon at Landguard, Felistowe.

See WORKSHOP to see these guys at work.

Work has started on expanding the capacity of the UK's largest container port. The first stages of the Felixstowe South Reconfiguration (FSR) involved demolition of the old dock basin and buildings, demolition of the oil jetty and moving one of the ro-ro pontoons to the southern end of the Languard terminal for use as a berth for tugs and a landing stage for pilot launches and workboats.
The area of the Dock Basin, previously used by the port's ship handling tugs, and the existing Landguard Terminal, will be converted into a new deep-sea container terminal.
Phase 1 of the project, to provide an extra 730m of deepwater quay dredged to 16m alongside, is expected to be completed in 2010. Phase 2 will provide 555m of quay, also at 16m alongside. This will bring the total length of quay to 1,285m.
However, the final part of the plan will be subject to market demand, which might be affected by new container port developments in the South East of England at Great Yarmouth and the Thames Gateway. The possible construction of the Bathside Bay terminal across the water at Harwich will also be a factor in future development.
The Port of Felixstowe has now been given permission to upgrade the Felixstowe Branch Line by dualling four miles of railway track and creating three extra sidings at the Ipswich Rail Yard. This will increase capacity from 26 to 40 trains per day.
In May the prinicipal contractors Costain carried out geotechnical surveys around the oil jetty and the northern end of Landguard Terminal. This involved drilling boreholes around the clock using Haven Ports' jack up barge Haven Seaway, a 18m by 15m rig with 34m legs capable of jacking up in 18m of water. Later, another Haven Ports jack up barge, the 55m by 14.1m Sea Devil, was used for demolition of the dock basin piers, with the company's workboat Skua being used as a safety boat.
Once the tug and pilot launch pontoon had been positioned at the South End of Landguard Terminal between bollards 25 and 27, the Felixstowe Dock Basin was closed. This had been the original 'dock' when Felixstowe was a small port and its loss has been mourned by many port workers who would have liked to see some historical continuity. Also disappearing during this redevelopment will be the hangers which used to house the Sunderland flying boats that were based here during WW2. It is reported that these buildings will be relocated to Duxford aviation museum. Work on demolishing the oil jetty was expected to take two months from the end of July.
Moving the Svitzer ship handling tugs to their new berth has, however, proved problematical. The landing stage is exposed to south-westerly and south-easterly winds and on several blustery days during the summer the tugs were seen running for shelter to Parkeston Quay. In August there were five Svitzer tugs based here, including the Svitzer Maria which was supporting the smaller Felixarc vessels.
On occasions the weather has prevented pilot launches from coming alongside the quaywall and pilots have reportedly had to travel between the Harwich pilot station and Felixstowe by taxi via Ipswich. Sources within the port expect that measures will be taken to provide additional shelter to the landing stage in time for the winter.
At the beginning of August the Dutch survey vessel Geo Explorer (a visitor to this year's Seawork) arrived in the Haven to survey the area in preparation for the next phase. Harwich Haven Authority's Notice to Mariners No 27, published at the end of August, announced demolition, dredging and pile removal works, with a heavy lift barge and construction vessels on site.
On or about the 3rd of this month an Exclusion Zone known as the Felixstowe South Reconfiguration Works Area was to be established for the landward area bounded by:
A) 51º 57'.08N 001º 18'.92E - Felixstowe RoRo 3 berth
B) 51º 57'.06N 001º 18'.67E - Yellow marker buoy
C) 51º 56'.63N 001º 18'.91E
D) 51º 56'.72N 001º 19'.12E - Landguard quay bollard 7
On or about 5 September, pile removal operations were due to commence on Felixstowe Oil Jetty, dock basin north and south piers, and RoRo 1 and 2 Berths for a period of approximately four weeks. The pile removal will be undertaken by the heavy lift barge GPS Atlas, which will deploy holding anchors marked with buoys which may extend up to 75 metres from the barge.
On or about 20 September, the dredgers Cornelia and Medway II, assisted by the plough dredger Norma and survey craft Geo Explorer and Shamrock are due to undertake dredging operations. Materials will be disposed of at the Inner Gabbard Spoil Ground.
By Graeme Ewens

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Iain Richardson (RhodieIke) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 1 N: 2639] (11584)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2014-04-15
  • Categories: Daily Life
  • Exposure: f/10.0, 1/320 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2014-05-25 7:42
Viewed: 760
Points: 8
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Additional Photos by Iain Richardson (RhodieIke) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 1 N: 2639] (11584)
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