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Sun November 17 2019

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Knights Brown prepares Portsmouth for bigger vessels

21 Aug Knights Brown has won a design and construction contract to enable the port of Portsmouth to take bigger cruise ships.

Knights Brown (formerly Raymond Brown Construction) will level and extend the cruise berth so that the port can receive ships up to 255 metres in length. The current cruise berth has a sloped level making it tricky for accessing certain ships.

The work starts in November and is set to be complete by spring 2020.

Divisional director Bryan Kennedy said: “These works are a fantastic opportunity for us to take on an exciting and challenging engineering project within Hampshire where we are based. Our local people have extensive knowledge of working along the south coast and in busy port environments so it’s a great fit for our expertise. We’re looking forward to getting underway.”

He added: "This is a two-stage process, with Knights Brown initially developing an efficient solution with Portsmouth International Port and then delivering the construction phase, which is expected to be around £3.5m."

Portsmouth City Council's transport and environment service will be overseeing the construction phase. Its project manager Anisa Koci said: "What appears to be a fairly straightforward engineering project is in fact incredibly complex. Managing construction within a marine environment is challenging but combined with a busy port and frequent ship movements, means we've appointed Knights Brown who have experience in delivering major engineering projects.

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"The work involves making structural alterations to the existing quay, whilst developing options to extend, all within a time frame that accommodates the scheduled cruise vessels."

Portsmouth International Port head of operations Ian Diaper said: "The cruise market is rapidly growing, with lines looking to diversify and attract a broader share of potential customers. Many cruise lines are also increasing their fleet with new vessels on order, so we have a real opportunity to accommodate demand.

"Once the cruise berth extension is complete we'll then turn our attention to transforming the current terminal building in anticipation for an upsurge in passengers. We'll be looking to accommodate up to 2,000 cruise guests, which will mean additional check-in desks, security and lounge facilities, plus a baggage hall able to handle the passenger volumes expected.”

September 2017 Raymond Brown Construction rebranded as Knights Brown after the demerger of the Raymond Brown Group and the sale of Raymond Brown Minerals & Recycling in August 2016.

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