The French have emerged as the main contenders to buy the Port of Dover, following speculation that Prime Minister Gordon Brown could rubber stamp the sale within days. Nord-pas-de-Calais regional council, which also owns the port of Calais, could bid up to £350 million for the largest passenger port in Northern Europe.
The state-owned Port of Dover, Europe’s busiest port, is putting itself up for sale in a bid to raise £400 million of private capital to fund an expansion programme that will include construction of a new ferry terminal.
The Port of Dover, Europe’s busiest port, is continuing with plans for a £420m new terminal which could see the publically-owned port go private as it attempts to raise financing.Funding for the second terminal at Dover Western Docks, formerly the site of the port’s hovercraft, might also be sought through debt.
Cruising is booming for the Port of Dover, in spite of tales of economic uncertainty. This year, Dover will handle 152 cruise ships’ visits to the port, with more than 200,000 passengers.
The Port of Dover saw its busiest December for four years, despite pessimism within the UK economy.According to traffic figures out today, the number of HGVs travelling through the port rose by nearly 10,000 to 173,773 last month from 163,000 in December 2007.