Dubai Ports World on Wednesday said it has received the final seal of approval from the government for the development of the United Kingdom's most advanced container port at London Gateway, which incorporates Europe's largest logistics park.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued a "Harbour empowerment order" to London Gateway, which enables official and statutory powers to the new port. Construction work will begin later this year on the 1,850-acre site, just 40km from central London, near Stanford-le-Hope, South Essex, a statement said.
More than £1.5 billion (Dh11bn) is being privately invested in London Gateway by DP World, the fourth largest global marine terminal company, over the next 10-15 years. The project is the largest capital investment initiative in the UK and will become the largest employment creation project in the country, the statement said. The approval is a "significant milestone" that "will allow us to progress with the development", DP World Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf said. London Gateway Chief Executive Simon Moore said: "This is a historic day for the shipping industry and the economy as a whole. We will be the UK's first major port for more than 25 years.
"London Gateway will be a port-centric logistics platform of a size and scale unique in the UK. Our customers will be able to cut costs from their supply chains, increase efficiency and reduce their environmental footprints."
London Gateway will become a national hub port for the UK and will accommodate the world's largest container ships. The port will be the most fully automated and efficient in the country, adding an additional 3.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) to the nation's port capacity. This will help meet recognised demand for extra capacity in the UK, DP World said.
In addition to a major deep sea facility, London Gateway port will combine with Europe's largest logistics park, offering 9.5 million square feet for distribution, manufacturing and high-tech sectors. The logistics park will offer individual units in excess of one million square feet. By integrating the port and the logistics park, London Gateway will offer global brands the opportunity to move away from conventional distribution methods and benefit from more efficient and environmentally friendly ways of distributing goods.
"In many ways, we are going back to our roots as a trading nation. We will get the biggest ships in the world as close as we can to the UK's largest consumer market in combination with significant warehousing capacity. This is how the port of London used to work and was the foundation stone on which the city prospered. This port-centric opportunity at London Gateway will take 2,000 trucks per day off our national road network," Moore said.