The first shipment of piles for the new quay wall at the Port of Felixstowe’s Felixstowe South development have arrived at the UK’s largest container port.
Nineteen of the large tubular steel piles were discharged from the vessel Arklow Rainbow directly onto the Felixstowe South construction site. Each of the huge piles is up to 38 metres in length, 2.56 metres in diameter, and weighs in excess of 45 tonnes.
The piles are being supplied by Corus, fabricated by Arcelor Mittal in Holland and shipped to Felixstowe from Dintelmond. In total over 350 piles will be transported to complete the 730-metre quay wall for the first phase of Felixstowe South.
Commenting on the latest phase of the development, Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of the Port of Felixstowe, said:
“We are pleased with the progress being made on Felixstowe South. The construction programme remains on schedule and we expect to handle the first ship on what will be the UK’s most modern container terminal in 2010.”
Referring specifically to the piling operations, he added:
“A special acoustic fence has already been constructed between the Port and our nearest neighbours, and the contractors will be using special vibrating hammers to the greatest extent possible. Although the use of the noisier percussive hammers will be needed for the final stage of each pile, we hope the noise will be kept to a minimum.”
The first of the piles is expected to be driven in week commencing 19 January 2009 by main contractor Costain.
The timing of piling operations will be restricted. Percussive piling will not commence before 08.00 in the morning Monday to Friday, and will be completed by 18.00 each evening. Between these times, there will be no more than five hours piling each day. Percussive piling on Saturdays will not commence before 09.00 and will finish by 13.00, and will not take place on more than 13 weeks in a six-month period. There will be no piling on Sundays or public holidays.