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08.11.2006

New £2million PLA Operational Support Facility officially opened

NEW £2 MILLION PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY OPERATIONAL SUPPORT FACILITY OFFICIALLY OPENED

Opening of Marine HouseThe Port of London Authority has officially opened a new £2 million operational support facility, Marine House, at Denton, Gravesend.

Marine House, the latest in PLA’s ongoing development of its Denton operation, was purpose-built by Kent-based construction firm, Brett Construction.  It was officially opened by PLA Chairman, Simon Sherrard, who hosted the PLA Board on a visit to the site.  The new building incorporates offices for PLA and towage operator, Adsteam and is home to the Authority’s marine store and shot blasting and painting facility.  It complements the PLA’s existing engineering and boat lift operations at Denton Wharf. 

The complex at Denton Wharf is the operations, repair and maintenance base for the PLA’s fleet of over twenty vessels, including patrol launches, hydrographic survey craft and pilot cutters.  The completion of Marine House brings to over £6 million the total invested by the Authority in its Denton operations over the last four years.  Sixty-five PLA employees are based at the site. 

 “The PLA is the navigation authority for the busiest port in the south of the UK,” commented Simon Sherrard.  Marine House has been completed as part of our work to ensure that we provide a comprehensive and competitive service for the 30,000 commercial vessel movements in the Port every year.“

Towage services company, Adsteam has taken an office suite in the new facility from which it will manage its operations in the Port.  The company already uses Denton Wharf as the base for its fleet of six Thames tugs.

“The involvement of Adsteam testifies to Denton’s role at the heart of a cluster of marine services and expertise that we will be continuing to develop.  It shows that by developing the right support infrastructure in the right place we can help to secure the long-term health of the Port, supporting and sustaining the jobs it generates,” Simon Sherrard concluded.

PLA’s earlier work at Denton included the development of a new jetty allowing more craft to berth and the installation of the only 70-tonne capacity boat lift on the River.  The boat lift is an important support facility on the Thames.  In the last year alone, PLA has used it to lift more than 100 vessels out of the River for other companies or individuals.

Marine House features environmental innovations to minimise use of natural resources including a rainwater harvesting system for flushing the building's toilets and automatic sensors that turn off the lights in unoccupied areas.

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More information – and photos - from: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority, Tel: 01474 562366. Email: martin.garside@pla.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

  • The Port of London Authority is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on 95 miles (150km) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington
  • The Port comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities, which handle a very wide range of cargoes. London is one of the top three ports in the UK and handles over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year.
  • The Port contributes an estimated £3.41 billion to the national economy every year, of which £1.6 billion is attributable to Greater London.