Guernsey's St Peter Port Harbour freight project begins

Freight berths at St Peter Port Harbour, in Guernsey Later stages of the work will involve the reallocation of 200 long-term car parking spaces

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The first stage of a £13.8m project to update freight facilities at Guernsey's St Peter Port Harbour has begun.

The project is expected to take about two years and includes the replacement of four of the five current harbour cranes with two new mobile units.

Before these can be installed, work has to be carried out on the three berths on which they sit.

The refurbished berths have been estimated to have a working life of at least 50 years and the cranes 25 years.

The first of the new cranes, which will be able to operate on either diesel or electricity, is due to be delivered and put in place early in 2013.

Currently, the cranes handle more than 50,000 tonnes of freight annually and are all at least 40 years old, with two of the units dating back to 1965.

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