First cargo for Great Yarmouth harbour
The 150m cargo vessel Trimnes passed between the breakwaters of Great Yarmouth's outer harbour to christen the �50m deep-water facility.
It was a moment that heralded the dawn of a new era for Norfolk and one that symbolised the triumphant completion of a project spanning decades.
Shortly before noon yesterday the 150m cargo vessel Trimnes passed between the breakwaters of Yarmouth's outer harbour to christen the �50m deep-water facility.
The first commercial vessel to use the harbour was carrying about 16,000 tonnes of aggregates to be used by local contractor Jackson for ongoing port infrastructure work.
Martin Johansen, boss of the first user, Stema Shipping, said: 'As an existing tenant of the river port and one of the first companies to sign up to premises within the new harbour development, we are excited about being able to use the outer harbour.
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'As the first deep sea vessel to use the port carrying a commercial cargo, we believe that the arrival of the Trimnes will start a new era for Yarmouth and the surrounding district.'
EastPort UK's vice-chairman Eliza O'Toole said: 'We are delighted that such an important customer as Stema has chosen to expand its regional operations with us, recognising the new commercial opportunities available to it through the deeper draft. That enables Stema's largest vessels to access the port at all states of the tide.'
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She said they were looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship and congratulated Mr Johansen on being the harbour's first commercial customer.
The giant cranes for the harbour's container terminal - a joint venture between EastPort's parent company International Port Holdings and the Port of Singapore - were unloaded last month and once they have been commissioned, container vessels could start arriving later in the summer.
The move of 30 port staff from their present riverside headquarters to offices in the former Omni-Pac egg carton factory on South Denes is also set to take place later in the summer.