UK-based integrated ferry and logistics provider P&O Ferries has signed an agreement with the operator of the Port of Tilbury in Essex, Forth Ports, to build a new £150m berth on the River Thames.
The construction of the new purpose-built terminal is subject to planning permission.
P&O Ferries intends to move its operations to the new berth following completion, increasing the company’s capacity to 600,000 units a year by 2020.
If approved, the terminal will form part of Forth Ports’ Tilbury2 project, which is expected to be built on a 152-acre site that was previously part of the former Tilbury Power Station.
The initiative will also see the construction of a new deepwater jetty on the Thames.
An application for a development consent order (DCO) for the Tilbury2 project was submitted to the UK’s Planning Inspectorate in October last year.
P&O Ferries chief executive Janette Bell said: “Together with our market-leading services across the English Channel, this new facility will enable P&O Ferries to offer customers exporting to or from London and the South East genuine alternatives, whether they choose to move their loads in self-drive vehicles or as unaccompanied freight.
“The river berth will enable us to cut our crossing time by one hour to seven hours, meaning that our customers will be discharged an hour earlier at 5am, enabling them to bypass the morning rush hour on the M25.”
The proposed terminal will be linked directly to the A13 via a new road in order to provide fast and easy access.
It will also feature an advanced layout to allow customers locate their unit quickly, with a 30-minute gate-to-gate turnaround target.