Ambitious vision for future of Lowestoft port announced
- Credit: ABP
Ambitious plans have been unveiled for investment, development and growth over the next five years at the Port of Lowestoft.
Associated British Ports (ABP) has announced its vision for the port, which it says will help create a competitive edge for companies across the Southern North Sea (SNS) energy sector and the wider region.
Over the next five years, ABP will develop the Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF), which it says will bring significant upgrades to marine facilities at Lowestoft’s Outer Harbour and support the UK’s journey towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The project will aim to deliver infrastructure which will meet the offshore energy industry's demands, future-proofing it for the next generation of offshore support vessels.
Andy Reay, ABP group head of commercial (offshore wind), said: “Our LEEF project represents an exciting step change in our ability to service customers in the growing Southern North Sea energy sector.
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"It will re-engineer existing quayside in the Outer Harbour and create the modern infrastructure needed to support a rapidly changing energy industry in a growing regional economy.”
Centred around the Outer Harbour at the port, the LEEF project has been hailed as "a major opportunity," with the first phase requiring around £25m of investment.
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When complete, it will provide 360m of berthing space for simultaneous use by three service operation vessels and deliver up to eight acres of flexible storage. It will also create around 5,000 sq ft of new office space with direct quayside access.
Andrew Harston, ABP director for Wales and Short Sea Ports, said: “The Port of Lowestoft already plays a key role in supporting the local economy, contributing £30m annually and supporting over 580 local jobs.
"We’re looking forward to this role growing in future, with the rise in activity, new investments and new customers."
He said it had the potential to bring new jobs and prosperity to the area, and support investments being made in offshore windfarm developments in the area.
With the LEEF project forming a central part of a new masterplan for the port, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: “The masterplan provides a framework for investment in Lowestoft Port that will attract business to the town, providing jobs for local people.
"I look forward to working with ABP in turning this vision in to reality.”