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EIB set to rescue £1.5bn London Gateway Port project

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is imminently expected to approve a £300M loan for the London Gateway Port project, NCE’s sister title Infrastructure Journal has reported.

The multilateral is currently appraising the £1.5bn project that includes the first phase development of a deep-water port for super-post-Panamax container vessels. The port’s first phase will provide three berths through 1,255m of quay development.

The project is expected to improve the intermodal efficiency of UK national freight distribution, reducing total land transport costs and increasing the modal share of rail and short-sea coastal shipping.

The proposed DP World London Gateway container port received another boost recently when the East of England Regional Assembly and East of England Development Agency announced that £12.7M was made available to fund the deepening of the Thames estuary to allow access for the largest container ships.

The funding comes from Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) that was set up to establish a cohesive, multi-modal European transport infrastructure.

Simon Brooks, vice president of the EIB, spoke yesterday at the Thames Gateway Forum in London, focusing his speech on “hard infrastructure” as the backbone of the economy and the need to develop a true public-private partnership to move the Thames Gateway programme forward.

However, Brooks confirmed EIB’s neutrality over the use of PPP structures, saying that the project was more important than the financing structure. With the exception of the Thameslink Rolling Stock and M25 Widening PPPs, none of the projects that fall into the Thames Gateway programme are being procured as PPPs.

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