UK's Portland Port officially opens new deepwater berth (£26M)

   June 27, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Portland Port (UK) celebrated the completion of a significant development project by officially opening a new deepwater berth.

The £26 million investment, the largest in the port's history, was marked by a ceremony attended by over 150 guests. The Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell, unveiled a commemorative plaque in front of port employees, tenants, dignitaries, and other invitees.

The redevelopment of the deepwater quays has improved the port's ability to handle cruise and cargo operations and accommodate larger vessels, including those from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. This expansion allows the port to meet growing demand and stay ahead of the trend for increasingly larger cruise ships, including liners up to 350 meters in length.

The project, carried out by Knights Brown, involved the removal of the existing deep-water berth and the creation of a new 250-meter-long berth with a depth of 12 meters, capable of handling cruise ships up to 350 meters long.

Additionally, the Outer Coaling Pier (OCP) was extended by 75 meters to a length of 250 meters, with a depth of 11 meters, providing increased space for handling dry bulk cargo and serving as a cruise berth. In total, the development added 16,000 square meters of additional quayside space, enabling the port to accommodate two 350-meter-long cruise ships simultaneously.

The project utilized 380,000 tonnes of locally sourced infill material and 4,800 tonnes of steel. The deep-water berth became operational in April when MSC Virtuosa arrived with a record 5,000 passengers, but the official opening followed the completion of final works.

With the cruise business contributing an estimated £10 million to the local economy, the port hosted Cruise Britain's annual summer event in Weymouth and Portland in collaboration with Princess Cruises.

Portland Port, situated in South Dorset, has been operating commercially since 1996, serving as a base for various commercial tenants and offering maritime and marine-related services.