Port of Le Havre breaks ground for new container terminal
Construction has begun on Port 2000, a $USD 600 million expansion of Le Havre’s container facilities in its first phase. Upon completion, the expansion will provide 12 quayside berths for post-Panamax vessels.
“Our goal is to double Le Havre container volumes again to 3 million TEUs by 2007 — not only for the French market but for a 900-mile radius of Europe reaching into Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Spain,” said Jean-Marc Lacave, executive director, Port of Le Havre Authority.
The cost of $USD 600 million is for Phase I of the project, including construction of a new ship access channel, a new 3.7-mile long breakwater, the first six berths of the terminal and inland connections. The berths will have a depth of nearly 48 feet, with an average operating width of over 1,640 feet, and more than 86 acres of ground space. Maritime construction is slated to begin January 2002. The first four berths should be operational by mid-2004, followed by completion of the fifth and sixth in 2006.
With the new facilities being built, Le Havre hopes to dramatically reduce the time and costs of container transfer from mothership to road, rail, barge and short-sea vessels. At the same time, highways in the area have been upgraded for long-distance trucking, and direct shuttle trains link the port to major European markets.
“Le Havre is playing an active role in the supply chain-we are not just the terminal where ships dock, ” said Lacave.
Among the new facilities to be built in the Port 2000 project are direct rail lines extending the full length of the container terminal. Complete trains will be assembled at the ocean berths and dispatched via canal to a new rail terminal that connects directly to the French national rail system. A new control station for trucks will be built, as well as a dedicated river terminal inside the present port for tugs and barges. A road-train service will transport containers between the river and ocean terminals.
The Port of Le Havre is the fourth largest port in northern Europe, and can receive containerships of 6,000 TEUs or more, fully loaded and at any tide.
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