Boskalis Westminster has secured a £31m contract from the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to dredge Portsmouth Harbour.
The new development will allow the harbour to receive larger vessels, including the new Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carriers of the UK Royal Navy.
Under this contract, Boskalis Westminster will dredge the approach channel, inner harbour area and berth pocket, enabling larger vessels to enter the harbour.
DIO project manager Paul Simmonds said: "DIO is delivering vital infrastructure to prepare for the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth Carriers in Portsmouth.
"This work helps provide the armed forces with the capabilities they need to maintain Britain’s security in an ever-changing world."
The project will see around three million m³ of clay, sand and gravel being removed from the harbour. Work will be performed using trailing suction hopper dredgers and backhoe dredgers.
The deranging works are expected to start late in the year and are scheduled to be completed by mid-2016.
Simmonds added that this contract is part of a £100m investment aimed at transforming Portsmouth Harbour into the home of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
Recently, the UK Ministry of Defence awarded a £5.5m contract to BAE Systems to install a new vessel traffic management system at Portsmouth Harbour and the Eastern Solent.
This deal is intended to assist in the controlling and monitoring of all ship movements within the port area.
Image: The UK Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier. Photo: courtesy of Crown copyright.