ABP launches consultation on Lowestoft Master Plan

Associated British Ports (ABP), owner and operator of the Port of Lowestoft, has launched a consultation on the Port of Lowestoft Master Plan, a document that sets out ABP’s future vision for growth and development at the port from now until 2036. It has also invited stakeholders to have their say on the port’s future.

ABP stated that with its ongoing investment in its infrastructure, the Port of Lowestoft’s location, makes it ideal to service important offshore wind developments off the East Anglian coast. The port supports construction and operational facilities for developments including the East Anglia ONE project, which will be one the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

Located in the North Sea around 43 km off the coast of Lowestoft in the UK, the wind farm is due for completion in 2020. It will consist of 102 Siemens SWT-7.0-154 type turbines, giving a total 714 MW capacity. It is expected to provide  power around 630,000 British homes when it begins operation in 2020. The £2.5bn wind farm is the first of four projects ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) is developing in the East Anglia region to begin construction.

SPR has planning consent for the East Anglia THREE wind farm which is to have a capacity up to 1,200 MW. It is located in the northern half of our zone and covers an area of approximately 305km2. It anticipates that the array will consist of 172 turbines between 7-12 MW in capacity and reach financial close next year.

The company is also in the process of planning consultations on two other offshore wind farms in the East Anglia zone. If consents are granted, it is anticipated that East Anglia TWO will commence construction in 2024 and East Anglia ONE North will commence construction in 2025.

Lowestoft also serves the UK’s Oil & Gas and agribulk sectors. Its tenants including Peterson UK Limited, a logistics and service provider to the offshore energy and oil and gas industries.

ABP Short Sea Ports Director, Andrew Harston, said: “The Port of Lowestoft is a vital component of the local and national economy. Given its significance, and in accordance with government guidance, we believe that it is appropriate to set out our proposals for the future in a comprehensive Master Plan for the port. This document details how the port could develop and what we believe needs to be done between now and 2036 to ensure that the port continues to grow in a sustainable and prosperous way.

“Standing back, one clear message comes out of our Master Plan – that the Port of Lowestoft has a bright future ahead with real development opportunities, not least due to its location directly opposite major continental ports and its excellent links to UK’s transport network.

“ABP has long voiced concerns about the construction of the proposed Lake Lothing Third Crossing which will have a significant negative impact on port operations and marine safety if it crosses the centre of the port. We hope that the bridge promoter, Suffolk County Council, will take on board our concerns about the impact of the proposal on the Port. Whilst we are not against the principle of the Third Crossing, the current proposal will not safeguard the future of the port and the economic prosperity of the region.”

The Lowestoft Master Plan consultation will provide an opportunity to those who are directly connected with the port and those with a wider interest in the economic development of the region to submit feedback. Once the consultation is complete, ABP will collate all of the comments received and, where appropriate, incorporate them into the Master Plan with the intention of formally adopting it later this year.

Over the last two years ABP has invested more than £3 million in developing the Port of Lowestoft and its infrastructure to ensure it meets the need of customers and the economy.

ABP’s key recent investments include the first phase of a £300,000 demolition project to clear a new 13-acre development site has completed at the Port of Lowestoft’s Shell Quay in November 2018. As well as £2 million in general improvements including new warehousing, new fendering, new fibre optic internet, new security facilities.
ABP also invested £670,000 for the purchase of a locally sourced ORC pilot boat for the Port of Lowestoft. Furthermore, The Port of Lowestoft has benefited from a £10 million investment by ScottishPower Renewables in a new Operations and Maintenance (O&M) facility.

The consultation period will be open until Friday 16 August 2019. Please submit any comments to Lowestoft.masterplan@abports.co.uk