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Firms chart course for container port

CONTRACTS - HULL

FOUR firms are sweating on a £35 million contract to build a new container terminal in Hull for Associated British Ports.

Bids from Carillion, Costain, Hochtief and Nuttall were returned towards the end of last month. The new complex will be built on the riverside in front of Alexandra Dock.

The project, known as Quay 2005, will involve redeveloping a derelict timber wharf to form a deepwater river berth for container ships.

Last December, transport minister Derek Twigg gave the scheme the green light after a public inquiry in 2003 recommended the project be turned down because of its impact on a neighbouring residential area.

The proposals, which were given initial approval in January 2005, will allow the port to accommodate larger container vessels in order to meet an expected growth in short-sea container traffic over the next few years.

The contract award is planned for later this autumn, with a start on site expected before Christmas.