The Port of London Authority (PLA) has started construction of a new 50m-tall radar tower on Tarmac's riverside office building in Northfleet, Kent.
The new £1m tower will replace PLA’s existing Northfleet radar upon completion, and will join the authority’s current network of 18 radars.
Breheny Civil Engineering will install the tower over the next six months, which will then be followed by the commissioning of the radar and communications equipment.
The new radar will also be equipped with the latest energy-efficient system, and will be used to oversee safe navigation on the UK’s busiest waterways, including the river Thames.
The Thames currently has 70 independently operated terminals, which supply the bulk of south-east’s vehicle and airport fuel and the country’s largest grain and forestry products.
It is also a major facilitator of the shipping of food, household goods, steel, cars, waste, and construction aggregates.
PLA chief executive Robin Mortimer said: “A radar at this location is essential as it gives our port control team at Gravesend an eagle’s eye view of a complex, busy part of the river with a blind bend and very strong tidal flows.
“This part of the Thames is the heart of the commercial port, so our investment is keeping ships safe for cargo handling operations which generate over 40,000 jobs and economic value added of £4bn a year.”
PLA also noted that installation of the new radar is expected to improve the overall resilience of its network of equipment such as radar, CCTV, weather monitoring, pilotage sector lights and microwave communications system.
Image: Tarmac, Port of London Authority and Breheny Construction representatives. Photo: courtesy of Port of London Authority.