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Giant Chinese cranes sail to London


09:53, March 04, 2013

Giant cranes from China have sailed up the Thames, to take their part in Britain’s new global shipping port, the London Gateway; a two billion US dollar project. As CCTV UK correspondent Richard Bestic reports from East London, their journey from Shanghai to the Thames Estuary was a massive engineering task in itself.

Emerging from the mist of the Thames, three of the biggest cranes to ever enter British waters.

Weighing in at 2,000 tons apiece and more than twice the height of Nelson’s Column, part of a multi-billion dollar deep sea port project.

It is, says the port boss, all aimed at returning London to its premier place in global trade.

Simon Moore, CEO of London Gateway, said, "London has been our major hub point going back thousands of years. The romans first settled here and we’re in many ways going back to our roots."

The new Port covers a vast area over, it will be equipped to handle the world’s biggest container ships and creating 36,000 new jobs in a time of high unemployment for the UK. The Port’s being built on new land with sands taken from the River.

Everything I’m standing on here has been dredged up from the bottom of the River Thames. 27 million cubic metres of sand and gravel. Enough to fill the Olympic Stadium 65 times over.

Simon said, "We’ve dredged for 100 kilometres and where we’re standing now this was the river. Just a few months ago we would have been swimming in the sea."

After three months on the high seas, the delivery of three $10 million dollar cranes from Shanghai marks a significant milestone for London’s new port.

On the quayside, part of the Chinese team that built them.

This is truly a long haul for these vast structures, three months traversing some of the roughest seas on the planet.

The Port should be opened by the end of the year .. only then will the Dubai backers find out if there’s to be a return on their huge investment.

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