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Port prepares for big visitor

PUBLISHED: 09:21 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:44 03 July 2010

THE first vessel to enter Great Yarmouth's £50m outer harbour is likely to be the biggest ever to visit the port.

The 234m Zhen Hua 6 is scheduled to complete its marathon journey from China via Hong Kong, around South Africa's Cape of Good Hope, on May 1, when it docks in the harbour to unload two giant cranes for the container terminal.

THE first vessel to enter Great Yarmouth's £50m outer harbour is likely to be the biggest ever to visit the port.

The 234m Zhen Hua 6 is scheduled to complete its marathon journey from China via Hong Kong, around South Africa's Cape of Good Hope, on May 1, when it docks in the harbour to unload two giant cranes for the container terminal.

The vessel, the most recent of six designed specially to carry container cranes, is currently in the Canaries but should be visible, mooring off the coast, from about April 26.

A team will be flying in from China to install the cranes, together worth about £7m, in a commissioning process likely to take two months.

The harbour is expected to launch its commercial trade in July when larger vessels servicing the offshore industry begin to use it.

Work on the harbour has been protracted by the decision, announced last August, to build an extra 350m of quay to handle general cargoes, and contractors Edmund Nuttall are now expected to be still on site until December.

Eddie Freeman, chief executive of EastPort UK, paid tribute to the co-operation of all partners - including the borough and county councils and government agencies - in achieving the harbour's completion.

Mr Freeman said they were actively talking to potential users of the container facilities - a joint venture between EastPort's parent company International Port Holdings and the Port of Singapore - but he acknowledged that the global container business had shrunk by at least 20pc in the recession and they would have to be patient.


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