Skip to main content

Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons his Department has imposed a 65-tonne weight limit on commercial loads which can be handled on the Falklands Jetty at Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre; when this limit was determined; whether its impact on the planning consent given for the construction plans for the new Marchwood Power Station was considered before the limit was laid down; and if he will make a statement. (204537)

[holding answer 9 May 2008]: An internal review of the Falklands Jetty at the Sea Mounting Centre (SMC) Marchwood was carried out in 2005. It was concluded that the Jetty can continue to routinely handle military and commercial loads weighing up to 65 tonnes. While requests for the Jetty to be used for heavier loads are still considered, these tend to be handled through alternative facilities at the SMC. The SMC holds no records to suggest it was involved in the planning considerations for the Power Station in 2001-02.

Since Marchwood Power Limited started utilising the SMC in August 2007, the MOD has worked closely with the company to ensure that its requirements are met as practicably and safely as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the weight limit is for military loads which can be handled on the Falklands Jetty at Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre; (204538)

(2) what the weight was of the heaviest load handled on the Falkland Jetty at Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre since 2001.

[holding answer 9 May 2008]: Since 2005, the heaviest piece of equipment that can routinely be handled from the Falklands Jetty is the military Challenger II tank, which weighs 65 tonnes. These vehicles are, however, usually loaded via Roll-On/Roll-Off facilities at the SMC’s quayside. Requests for the Jetty to be used for heavier loads are still considered although these tend to be handled through alternative facilities at the Sea Mounting Centre. Prior to 2005, the heaviest load handled from the Falklands Jetty was a 215 tonne reactor in 2001.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment was made of the (a) effect on traffic from the Port of Southampton to the Marchwood Power Station site and (b) cost of delivering the main heavy plant for the power station by road, when the decision to impose a 65 tonne limit on commercial loads handled at the Falkland Jetty at the Sea Mounting Centre was taken; (204545)

(2) if he will instruct his Department to give permission for up to 12 loads to be delivered to the new Marchwood Power Station via the Sea Mounting Centre and exempted from the 65 tonne limit.

When the decision to impose a routine weight restriction of 65 tonnes for loads on the Falklands Jetty was made in 2005, no assessment was carried out by MOD of the effects on traffic or the cost of delivering such loads by road. This is because an alternative loading solution exists that involves the acceptance of heavier loads using a floating crane to lift them over the Sea Mounting Centre's quay wall either onto the quayside or waiting rail transportation. To date, some 36 loads for the Marchwood Power Station, weighing between 98 and 171 tonnes, have been moved in this way.