Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has visited Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth to view the preparations to ready the city to become the base port of the brand new Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers in early 2017.
During his visit, Mr Fallon took to the water to see how work is progressing on rebuilding the jetty that will be the home of HMS Queen Elizabeth when she moves to Portsmouth in 2017. VolkerStevin is the principal contractor for the refurbishment and the significant infrastructure improvements to the jetty.
Mr Fallon also met employees from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) which is responsible for the jetty upgrade and for the dredging in and around Portsmouth Harbour which will widen and deepen the approaches for the two carriers – the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“Work on the Carriers is a national undertaking, with shipyards across the country, from Scotland to Devon, lending Great British brainpower and skills to the programme. And here in Portsmouth, the start of dredging works marks an important milestone as the city prepares to become the home of the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers. Our £100 million investment in the naval base and the arrival of the Carriers in 2017 will support and sustain thousands of jobs across the region.”
The dredging project forms just part of the £100 million invested in HM Naval Base Portsmouth to develop the docks and ensure the city is ready to become the base for both HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales, which is also rapidly taking shape in Rosyth. More than half of the £100 million has been awarded to refurbish the jetty and other port infrastructure including high-voltage power and the navigational aids necessary to safely berth the Carriers.
Construction activities for VolkerStevin started in April of this year and are expected to be finished in October 2016.