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Robert.Jervis_43227 Sep 13

Port of Felixstowe welcomes world’s largest container ship

A nominal carrying capacity of 23,992 TEU...
The Ever Ace, the world’s largest container ship, has made its maiden call at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe.

Operated by Taiwanese line Evergreen Marine, the 24,000TEU capacity vessel arrived at the UK’s largest container port from Hamburg, having commenced its voyage at Qingdao, China in July.
Commenting on the arrival, Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, said:

“We are delighted to welcome the Ever Ace on its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe. Our relationship with Evergreen dates back to 1979 when Evergreen launched its first Asia-Europe service. The scale of growth since then has been nothing short of staggering; those first ships had a capacity of just 1,200TEU, one-twentieth of the number the Ever Ace can carry.

“It is particularly fitting that the arrival coincides with the start of London International Shipping Week which promotes the best of the UK maritime sector. The Port of Felixstowe has long been the country’s No.1 container port and we are continuing to invest to secure that position long into the future.”

Work is due to commence in the autumn to increase the depth of the main approach channel into the port. Undertaken by Harwich Haven Authority and due for completion in 18 months, the £120 million scheme will increase the depth of the channel from 14.5 metres to 16.0 metres below chart datum.

The channel deepening will give Felixstowe unrivalled access for the largest container ships and complements work completed in July to deepen Berth 7 at the port to 16.5 metres. Further work to deepen Berths 6, 8 & 9 is scheduled for 2022.

The Ever Ace is the first of twelve 24,000-teu class container ships ordered by Evergreen.  The A-type vessel is 400 meters in length and 61.5 meters wide, has a design draft of 14.5 meters and can cruise at speeds up to 22.6 knots. With a nominal carrying capacity of 23,992 TEU, Ever Ace is one of the largest container ships in the world.

Separately, The Port of Felixstowe has been chosen for the Clean Maritime Demonstration Programme.

Developed with partners at Cranfield University, Sizewell C and EDF, the project involves a feasibility study into the potential for Freeport East to become both a net-zero port and a net-zero energy hub for third parties and the adjacent region, leveraging opportunities such as the local presence of existing and new-build nuclear power stations at Sizewell.

Commenting on the project, Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, said:

“There is considerable use of fossil fuel in ports all over the world. Replacing hydrocarbons completely is a huge challenge. Technology replacements are in some cases becoming available but in many cases they are in their infancy or face other hurdles to adoption. All solutions demand very significant investment. The study will identify which solutions give the best viable outcome regarding speed and efficacy towards net zero.”

In addition to decarbonising the port’s own operations, the study will also consider how Freeport East can play a role in helping to reduce or eliminate carbon from associated and adjacent businesses. Mr Lewis added:

“Decarbonising associated activities is very challenging. There are a large number of diverse operators not under the direct control of the port. However, the scale of operations at Felixstowe and Harwich increases the potential to supply a carbon-free energy alternative and will drive the concept of a port energy supply hub. If the project can supply enough hydrogen, synthetic fuels or bulk carbon-free power, it can facilitate a far-reaching energy transition.”

Freeport East is one of eight new Freeports in England announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in March. Hutchison Ports’ Port of Felixstowe and Harwich International are partners in the Freeport together with a number of local councils and the New Anglia and South East Local Enterprise Partnerships.

In November 2020, the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution included £20 million for the CMDC to develop clean maritime technology. The programme builds on the vision set out in the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Plan and recently published Transport Decarbonisation Plan, underlining its commitment to addressing emissions from the sector