World’s first tidal powered container port that will power 600,000 homes planned in East Anglia

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A dual carriageway would lead to the container port. Credit: Port Evo

Plans have been revealed for a £2 billion tidal barrage across The Wash, a bay in East Anglia between Lincolnshire and Norfolk, which will feature the world’s first tidal energy-powered deep sea container terminal.

The scheme would bring new roads, rail terminals, flood defences and be able to power 600,000 homes .

According to the developers, Port Evo, the 17.7 kilometre barrage (named Centre Port UK) would stretch between Gibraltar Point and Hunstanton and will importantly “provide guardianship of the ecology of The Wash and Fenlands”.

However, the project will also create up to 1,700 jobs, power 600,000 homes and businesses and protect more than one million people from flooding.

A series of water turbines underneath the port is proposed to provide clean tidal energy to power homes and businesses with hydrogen for the haulage industry, farm machinery and container ships.

The development would also act as a flood defence for more than one million people in Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire while providing zero carbon energy and transport.

New Civil Engineer says the project “will be be state-of-the-art and able to service 1.5M 6m equivalent containers from 23,000 6m equivalent ships after the first phase. This will expand to 2.6M containers in phase 2 and then 4M containers in phase 2a. It will have quad lift cranes able to pick up four 6m containers or two 12m containers on each lift, meaning ships will spend less time in port.

“Atop the barrage will be a road that would be a dual carriageway from the container terminal to the Lincolnshire side and a single carriageway between the terminal and Nofolk. This will cut journey time between the two counties from 2.5 hours to 20 minutes, creating a “new powerhouse” for business.

“Rail infrastructure is also part of the proposal, with four terminals proposed. The developer intends to connect it to the East Coast Main Line.”

Sam Owen, group director of Port Evolution Management, said the war in Ukraine has given the Government the impetus to look at large scale renewable energy projects.

He said:

“The reality is that if we want renewable power, it has to be done on a big scale. Container terminal ports in the UK are congested. Vessels can be parked in the water at Felixstowe for three weeks before they are unloaded.
“During the construction phase of Centre Port, there will be 1,000 to 1,200 jobs created on site and 300 jobs once it’s operational, including train drivers, engineers and office staff.”

The scheme will be decided by the Government rather than a local council because it is Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

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