London gateway port
London Gateway Port is the UK’s first twenty-first century major deep-sea container port and Europe’s largest logistics park. HR Wallingford has been involved in the design and planning of London Gateway Port since 2002, and for over five years we have acted as DP World’s lead technical advisor for dredging, marine physical processes and marine physical monitoring.
Supporting port design and planning
DP World London Gateway represents a major investment in UK port infrastructure. HR Wallingford’s involvement in the London Gateway Port project pre-dates (and includes) the Public Inquiry and initially focused on state of the art modelling of currents, waves and sediment transport in the estuary. We used these models to assess the likely effects of various designs of quay, berths and channels on conditions within the Thames Estuary.
HR Wallingford’s specialist team of dredging engineers and scientists have supported DP World London Gateway for the duration of the project. The project involved a significant capital dredge even by international standards. We modelled dredgers and sediment release from dredging activities using our bespoke dredger models. This information was used to assess likely effects of the port development on the marine environment and the sediment transport regime within the estuary.
Monitoring the marine environment
HR Wallingford has been DP World London Gateway’s lead advisor with respect to physical monitoring of the marine environment, assisting with a wide range of aspects including: monitoring design, cost estimation, tendering, contracts, client representation, data processing, reporting, quality assurance/checking and interpretation. The marine physical monitoring system devised works in real-time, supplying data to a dedicated website. Both caution (warning) and stop thresholds are in place to help manage dredging activities. Such careful monitoring and management of the dredging activities is important given London Gateway Port’s proximity to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the Thames Estuary and Marshes Special Protection Area (SPA), an internationally important bird habitat and the UK’s largest cockle fishery.
Regulator and stakeholder liaison
HR Wallingford’s role involves assisting DP World London Gateway with its responsibilities regarding reporting to regulators and stakeholders. HR Wallingford is an active member of DP World London Gateway’s Assurance Team and regularly presents to the project’s Environmental Advisory Group.
The construction of Phase 1 of the port is almost complete. The first container ships have started using the facility. At this time our role is developing and increasing attention is being paid to operational issues such as maintenance dredging and routine monitoring activities.
The construction and opening of the development represents a major milestone in the UK ports sector and a new phase of the project in which HR Wallingford is very pleased to have played a part.