Business

Belfast-Heysham service to operate from Ballast Quay to facilitate terminal upgrade

BELFAST Harbour is planning a full refurbishment of its Victoria Terminal one roll-on roll-off ferry berth this summer, from which Stena Line operates its Belfast to Heysham freight service.

And it will mean that, until September, the Belfast-Heysham service will operate from the old Stena terminal at Ballast Quay.

The programme of work, which represents a £2.5 million investment by the harbour, includes a refurbishment of the berth ramp, the access walkways and the fenders, and the modernisation will extend the terminal's life span by a further 25 years.

Mallusk-based construction giant McLaughlin & Harvey has been contracted to deliver the project, which is due to commence in early summer.

Belfast Harbour has continued its long-term investment programme in port infrastructure in recent years, including the £40 million redevelopment of Victoria Terminal three container terminal, with more than £20 million invested in new cranes, and the installation of a new £15 million two tier linkspan ramp at Victoria Terminal two ferry terminal to accommodate Stena’s new Embla and Edda vessels on the Belfast- Liverpool route.

Belfast Harbour's port director Michael Robinson said: “We are continuing to invest in our port infrastructure and equipment that will help us achieve our goal of becoming the best regional port in the world.

“Roll-on-roll-off freight, including on the Belfast to Heysham route, performed strongly last year, reflecting the importance of our freight traffic routes to Scotland and England and the essential supply chains we serve to the Northern Ireland economy.

“We want our facilities to be best in class and having undertaken a full structural assessment of the VT1 facilities we believe that making this £2.5 million investment now will provide both this standard and a long-term life extension for the terminal.”

McLaughlin & Harvey contracts director John Mariner said: “We're delighted to deliver another project for Belfast Harbour; building on our successful long-term relationship which includes Victoria Terminals three and four.

“The project will be delivered using a local supply chain, and will utilise our extensive marine civil engineering expertise to support the harbour in its programme of continual investment to improve facilities in the port.”

Last July McLaughlin & Harvey, one of the north's oldest and largest construction groups, confirmed that its 2019 sales had smashed through the half billion pound mark for the first time.

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