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£300M European Investment Bank loan to rescue London Gateway Port

A £300M loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) is set to rescue the £1.5bn London Gateway Port project, NCE has learnt.

Dubai-based port operator DP World announced earlier this year that it was reviewing the scope of the project at Shellhaven in Essex following a fall in global shipping demand (NCE 26 February).

It has already asked the government to drop a requirement for it to pay for the £100M upgrade of junction 30 of the M25 at Thurrock, Essex (NCE 30 April).

Planning permission for the port was only granted on condition that the developer paid to upgrade the junction which connects the M25 and the A13, the main trunk road between London and the port.

The EIB is now looking to step in by part-funding the project. It said the scheme would improve the intermodal efficiency of the UK’s national freight distribution system, reducing total land transport costs and increasing the modal share of rail and short-sea coastal shipping.

Three berths and 1.255km of quay development are expected to be built in the first phase of development. The full project involves the construction of a total of 2.3km of quay.The completed development will be capable of handling the same amount of freight as Felixstowe.

The East of England Regional Assembly and East of England Development Agency have also recently announced that they are making £12.7M available to fund the deepening of the Thames estuary to allow access for the largest container ships.

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