Laing O'Rourke and Dredging International press ahead with building work on Essex port

Construction on the £1.5bn London Gateway port scheme starts in earnest today, with dredges readying the Thames for the world’s largest container ships.

Laing O’Rourke and Dredging International are pressing ahead with the project, which when completed will be able to receive 3.5 million containers a year.

Carillion started doing early works on the scheme, which was launched in 2008, to reconstruct 26 ha of coastal mudflats which are being lost through construction of the port.

The Essex site will be raised by three metres and the wharf, extending up to 600 metres into the estuary, will be built on reclaimed land.

A separate logistics park, originally planned to be 9.5 million sq ft in size, is set to be built under a separate construction contract.

Simon Moore, CEO of London Gateway, said: “We are creating a world-class shipping lane, which will allow the world’s largest container ships to dock alongside one of Europe’s largest logistics parks.

"Our aim is to ensure the distribution of goods becomes more efficient and environmentally friendly. We are now in discussions with potential occupiers for the London Gateway Logistics Park as well as shipping lines for the port and look forward to working with them to improve the way we move products for both importers and exporters.”