Belfast Harbour has committed to investing £15m to re-develop Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2), which services cross-water traffic on the Belfast <> Liverpool route. The project will enable the terminal to handle the next generation of modern RoRo (Roll-On/ Roll-Off) ferry vessels currently being developed by Stena Line.
The work will create 100 jobs through the constuction and installation of new ramp infrastructure that will accommodate the berthing of Stena Line's new E-Flexer ships.
Stephen Hand, pre-construction director at GRAHAM, has said;
"This major project will include new berthing infrastructure and the installation of a new double deck linkspan that will allow vehicles to drive simultaneously onto the ferry. The berthing facilities at VT2 need to be upgraded to accommodate bigger vessels. This project will create new berthing infrastructure and enable efficient vehicle access to ships."
The project is part of Belfast Harbour's long-term investment strategy in Port infrastructure. A recent £1.5m investment also related to this long-term plan that increased VT2's landside capacity and improved it's entrance and accessibility in preperation for the arrival of the new vessels in early 2020.
Michael Robinson, Port Director of Belfast Harbour has said;
"The upgrade of the VT2 ferry terminal represents another significant investment by Belfast Harbour in Northern Ireland's transport infrastructure and will provide best-in-class facilities for Northern Ireland's importers and exporters. The project includes the design and construction of a new two-tier ramp that will make it faster to load and discharge traffic, improve customers' experience and enhance connectivity to one of Northern Ireland's key markets."
The work is expected to start in June 2019 and will be completed by early 2020. The new E-Flexer ships, which are currently under construction in China, are due to enter service in the Irish Sea in 2020 and 2021 and will be substantially bigger, therefore enhancing their freight capacity by 40%
They will be 215m long and will have a freight capacity of 3,100 lane metres and space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew. They are positioned to be the most sustainable vessels operating in the Irish Sea.