Peel Ports Group, owner of the Port of Liverpool, said it “pressed the button” on the second phase of its expansion programme at the Liverpool2 shipping terminal.
Launched in November 2016, Liverpool2 represents a £400 million investment that provides a state-of-the-art ocean gateway for international trade to and from the UK.
Peel Ports said the deep water facility is capable of accommodating the world’s largest container vessels.
It said the terminal will connect road, rail and canal networks linking directly to the heart of the UK mainland, accessing a catchment of more than 35 million people, almost 58% of the UK’s population.
Peel Ports CEO Mark Whitworth said: “This is an important step in the development of Liverpool2 and reflects our confidence and our long term commitment to positioning the North of England as a competitive route to international markets and a major port for global trade.
“The development of the project programme is now well underway.
“We are currently preparing the outline designs and would look to be in a position to appoint construction partners in spring of next year, with a view to commencement of construction shortly after.
“We anticipate a completion date for Phase 2 in 2019.
“The world class facilities which we have at Liverpool2 will allow us to capture and grow a greater share of the container market, offering cargo owners in the north of the country a more competitive route to market, getting their goods closer to their end destination.
“We are in a good place in our discussions with shipping lines; there are more opportunities on the horizon at the Port and our confidence is high as a result.”