Work begins on £25m quay extension at Port of Tyne

In the UK, the Port of Tyne has appointed the main contractor for the £25 million (€33.4 million) extension of Riverside Quay, the port's multifunctional deep-sea facility at South Shields.

The main contract for over 300m of quay work includes a 125m quay extension, an upgrade of 118m of existing quay and 90m of quay wall renewal at the former McNulty site. The £18.6 million contract was won by Tyneside-based Southbay Civil Engineering who will start construction this month.

This development is required to support the growth in cargo volumes being handled by the Port, including the relatively new wood pellet imports used by power stations as they convert from coal to renewable fuels.

Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne CEO, says: 'On the back of growth in volumes over the past few years we are investing in new infrastructure to make sure the port is able to meet the needs of both our existing and our future customers. This is the biggest single investment we have made since we built Europe's first purpose-built wood pellet facilities back in 2010 and it will significantly increase our capacity to handle increased volumes of cargoes. Extending the length of the quay will increase the berthing capacity by almost 20% enabling up to four large cargo ships to berth simultaneously.'

Enabling work began last June last year with nearly £3 million invested in underwater preparatory works and internal roads built within the port to reduce construction traffic outside and minimise disruption for nearby businesses and residents.

The project covers some 300m of quay, including the construction of a brand new 125m quay extension with a load capacity of 10 tonnes per m2. A 118m section of existing quay which is over 70 years old will be removed, and the old fenders will be replaced with new before the quay itself can be laid. The renewal of 90m of quay wall at the former McNulty site also marks the start of investment to refurbish the site acquired by the port in 2013. In total 240 steel piles up to 33m long and weighing up to 21 tonne each will be needed to support the new quay and will be driven into the river bed over the course of the project.

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