LONDON -- Deepening of the river Thames to allow the biggest container ships to dock at a new box terminal and Europe's biggest logistics hub near London will start in early March, DP World announced.
A Belgian dredger will spend six weeks scooping out a navigation channel to the London Gateway deep-sea container port on the site of a mothballed Shell oil refinery.
"The dredging operation is an essential part of the project and will create a world class shipping lane and port that will become the primary sea trading route for British commerce," said London Gateway chief executive officer Simon Moore.
The dredging is starting a year after DP World put the $2.5 billion project "under review" because of the downturn in the global container shipping market.
The project, which was unveiled more than a decade ago, faced further uncertainty in November when DP World's parent Dubai World Corp. requested a six month freeze on interest payments on some $26 billion of debt.
Dubai-based DP World announced it would proceed with essential infrastructure work in early January.
It also said it would continue to review the development of the 3.5 million 20-foot-container-a-year terminal and logistics park in line with market demand
DP World inherited London Gateway with its $6.5 billion acquisition of the UK's P&O Ports in 2006.
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