May day: the first ship

GREAT Yarmouth's �50m outer harbour will see its first ship dock on May 1 when the port takes delivery of two giant gantry cranes. They will form part of an additional �30m container terminal, a joint venture between EastPort UK's parent company, International Port Holdings, and the Port of Singapore.

GREAT Yarmouth's �50m outer harbour will see its first ship dock on May 1 when the port takes delivery of two giant gantry cranes.

They will form part of an additional �30m container terminal, a joint venture between EastPort UK's parent company, International Port Holdings, and the Port of Singapore. It is expected that the terminal will start operat-ing on July 1, symbolising the completion of a project tipped to create hundreds of jobs.

It will cater for both the short-sea trade, bringing container vessels from Dutch, Belgian and German ports, and mid-sea trade from destinations as far away as the Caribbean, South Africa and eastern Mediterranean.

Vessels up to 200m or even more with a draft of 10m will then begin delivering through the port 20-foot and 40-foot containers containing everything from children's toys to liquor and foodstuffs.


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It had originally been planned to open the new harbour for shipping this month, but I understand the delay has been caused by the decision taken last August to develop an extra 300m of quay for general cargo activity.

The move of 30 port staff from their present riverside headquarters to offices in the former Omni-Pac egg carton factory on South Denes, close to the new harbour, has also been put back to July.

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A study is being made into the effects of the new outer harbour on coastal erosion.

Bernard Harris, of GYB Services, told Hopton Parish Council that an independent research authority working on behalf of EastPort was analysing whether the development was causing sand levels to drop on neighbouring beaches.

He said levels at Caister had dropped by three feet, adding that the results of the report should go to the borough council before Christmas.

His comments came amid Hopton villagers' fears that the outer harbour has caused up to four feet of sand to be washed away from Hopton beach in the past six months, exposing cliffs to erosion.

Mr Harris also said the defences protecting Hopton beach were not being main-tained but that they were not in a critical condition.

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