Associated British Ports (ABP) has reached a significant milestone in the construction of their Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF), at its Port of Lowestoft, with the commencement of capital dredging of the Outer Harbour and channel approaches.

Associated British Ports (ABP) has started dredging the outer harbour and channel approaches at the port of Lowestoft

LEEF represents significant investment by ABP, supported by the Towns Fund, which will deliver state-of-the-art infrastructure to meet the current and future demands of the offshore energy industry.

The capital dredge, totalling 170,000m3, is underway in the Outer Harbour and approach channels, and will facilitate minimum depth berth pockets of 7.5m. This depth will mean Lowestoft is able to accommodate the next generation of offshore support vessels, marking a crucial step towards transforming Lowestoft into an offshore energy hub.

The Boskalis Suction Dredger, Sospan Dau, commenced dredging operations on Monday 29 April, and will be supported by small survey craft ‘Sea Eagle’. This follows initial works that have been undertaken by grab dredger UKD Cherry Sand. The whole dredging operations is due to complete in August 2024 and is being carried out with a commitment to the highest environmental standards, and in accordance with ABP’s works’ marine licence.

Julian Walker, Regional Director, ABP said: “The commencement of capital dredging signifies a pivotal moment in the realisation of the Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF). LEEF is not just a port project; it is a strategic investment in the future of Lowestoft and the wider energy sector.”

“ABP’s significant investment in the LEEF project signals our commitment to equipping Lowestoft – the UK’s most easterly port – with the capabilities required to thrive in a rapidly evolving energy landscape, and enhance its capacity to service the growing Southern North Sea energy sector.”

David Baskin, Senior Contracts Manager at McLaughlin & Harvey, the contracted construction firm for LEEF commented: “We are pleased to have reached this important milestone in the project, having recently completed marine piling and tie rod installation. Works are now well underway and on track to complete by September 2024.”

ABP will be exhibiting LEEF at EEEGR’s SNS conference on 22-23 May 2024.