EastPort UK

The quay to offshore

As a major deepwater facility in the southern North Sea, close to Northern Europe, EastPort UK is looking to capitalise on its position of being the number one offshore support port in England by offering a multi-purpose capability that includes deepwater direct access and a suite of support facilities and services to the wider offshore industry.

Having entered into new ownership in May 2007, the organisation is now owned by International Port Holdings (a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Infrastructure Partners) and is in the final stages of constructing a new outer harbour. This facility will function as an addition to the existing business, enabling the port to offer offshore clients a multi-faceted service, with a wider range of options than ever before.

Although EastPort UK has clear ambition to grow and develop in a range of offshore services, it is also crucial to preserve Great Yarmouth’s heritage and its origins as a river port and the established services it provides.

Eddie freeman, CEO of EastPort UK outlines its strengths in the industry: “I think the main strength is our know-how. If you take the geographical location of the port in the southern North Sea as a given benefit, our collective know-how over many years of support in the industry meets all the market requirements. From understanding the culture and the availability of the port, which is 24/7, to the wide range of supporting skills that we can offer, we are prepared to undertake any work clients demand. We predominantly operate with those in the gas market, though renewable energy contracts are starting to feature heavily in our portfolio as a result of the development of wind farms along the coast. Over the years we have supported all the major offshore companies.
EastPort 08 2009 b
Consisting of the traditional river port that reaches a total length of 3000 metres, has 36 quays, with a maximum holding capacity of 130 metres in length, a beam of 30 metres and a draft of six metres, the organisation has wide ranging capabilities, though the construction of the outer harbour will enable the service of larger North Sea vessels. The new harbour facility offers complete access from the sea, its 700 metres of quays are dredged to a depth of ten metres with a further two metres tidal range. In addition the area is totally sheltered so that clients can rest in the knowledge that their vessels are well protected. The offshore industry will also benefit from the harbour’s additional 30 acres of development land that hosts warehousing, open storage and office accommodation for a complete package provision.

Eddie explains: “These additional facilities bring great benefits to the organisation as we have found that offshore clients, when they have a project running, don’t just want quay facilities they want the complete package right up to accommodation – we can provide the warehousing and office suites they desire for project mobilisation. We also have heavy lift capacity, our own multi-skilled port operatives and all our services function 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. What we have done is taken the old and bolted on a much bigger extension to complement it so that we don’t miss the offshore projects that we have more than enough experience to handle, not withstanding our clients requirement for bigger, deeper drafted vessels”

The construction is running later than scheduled as a result of expansion to the original plans and the harbour will be fully operational by the end of the year with contractors leaving the site by November. Due to a great deal of interest EastPort UK has managed to fit the service of some vessels around the contractors, catering for their needs as conscientiously as possible whilst construction is still taking place. The port of Great Yarmouth has been looking to expand for many years and now that these plans have finally been put into motion the port is set for a much longer and prosperous future.

The outer harbour has been designed as a multi-purpose facility, able to accept a wide range of vessels. Already signed up is PSA, one of the largest container terminal operators in the world, which will be operating the new container terminal and Stema Shipping (UK) Limited, a major player in the world of aggregates.

Eddie outlines his vision for EastPort UK over the coming years: “I think we have the capability to be very competitive in the offshore marketplace. We have a robust environmental policy in place that is driven by Global Infrastructure Partners who are extremely stringent in the way we conduct our business with regards to the environment, health and safety. Over the coming years we would like to see the port grow to be the number one spot in the UK for offshore and renewable services and I think we certainly have the resources in place to achieve that. We have the infrastructure in our newly structured deepwater facilities and are well positioned to accommodate the kind of vessels that historically have had to pass us by.”

EastPort UK

Services: Harbour and warehousing facilities