Lowestoft’s new port will fully open this autumn, the port owner and operator has announced.

Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF) will be fully operational by October this year upon the completion of a major redevelopment project to transform the port into an "offshore energy hub", costing £35m.

The port will support both operations and maintenance activities and the construction of hundreds of new offshore wind turbines in the North Sea.

Andy Reay, head of offshore wind at ABP, said LEEF is “strategically placed” to meet a “wave of demand” for the delivery of offshore wind projects.

Eastern Daily Press: The Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF) - the UK's most easterly port - will fully open this autumn, Associated British Ports has announcedThe Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF) - the UK's most easterly port - will fully open this autumn, Associated British Ports has announced (Image: Associated British Ports)

“Ports are critical to delivering offshore wind in the UK,” he said, speaking at the SNS2024 energy conference at the Norfolk Showground on Thursday.

“With turbines and vessels getting ever larger, we need the next round of investment in port facilities.

“We recognised there would be a wave of demand when LEEF was initiated three to four years ago to repurpose ABP’s existing facilities.”

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Three new 7.5-metre-deep berths and 345m of berthing space have been built at the port to facilitate larger vessels, as well as the dredging of 170,000m3 of material from the outer harbour.

ABP say LEEF will have “some capability” as of September this year and will be fully operational the following month.

Eastern Daily Press: Lowestoft's Outer HarbourLowestoft's Outer Harbour (Image: ABP)

“Our vision for the facility is to create modern quayside infrastructures to support the offshore wind developers in both their construction and their enduring operations and maintenance phase,” Mr Reay added.

"It is the first of a series of investments which ABP is looking to make over the coming five to seven years to help facilitate not only offshore wind but the wider net zero journey that the UK is on.

“We’re not just looking at offshore wind for this facility – we’re also looking at the wider opportunities around nuclear and the continued support of gas.”

ABP made the announcement at SNS2024 - an annual two-day energy conference which focuses on the Southern North Sea, organised by the East of England Energy Group (EEEG).