The Port of London Authority's new £7 million super-boat has been named at a ceremony in the Pool of London.

The London Titan is a specially designed 650-ton work vessel able to operate from Richmond to the estuary, capable of negotiating the low bridges and the shallow water of the upper reaches of the tidal river.

The biggest investment by the PLA for more than 20 years, the Titan can cope with a variety of work from salvage, clearing obstructions and keeping navigation channels clear, to laying and recovering buoys and supporting diving and civil engineering operations;

It was officially named by Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, (below left) who said: "The Thames plays a vital role in the Thurrock economy, so naming this boat, which keeps the river safe and open for business, is fantastic. 

" Many people forget that the Thames is a major shipping channel.  Thurrock is home to the major operations at the Port of Tilbury, Cobelfret and Vopak.  In fact, more cargo is landed at the terminals in Thurrock than comes in via Felixstowe or Dover. 

“The PLA investment in London Titan underpins operators’ confidence to invest, generating jobs and growth and underlines that fact that the Port of London remains a key part of the economic infrastructure of London and the South East.”

Shipping minister Robert Goodwill MP said: “Britain has a proud maritime history and this investment by the Port of London Authority will help ensure the sector continues to thrive.

"The River Thames is enjoyed by Londoners and visitors to the capital. The London Titan will help it continue to meet the needs of the growing number of businesses and passengers who rely on it all year round.”

Read the London Titan skipper's view of the new super-vessel HERE

Robin Mortimer, PLA chief executive said:  “This is a unique river which is busy and getting busier.  Over the 95 miles of the Thames we look after, we’ve now got the world’s largest container ships calling, passenger trips reaching 10 million a year and inland waterways freight, like construction materials and rubbish, now at a steady five million tonnes a year. 

“We’ve got to keep the Thames fit and ready for all these vessels and with over 40,000 jobs depending on the Thames, London Titan is a vital upgrade to our fleet.  She brings power wedded to manoeuvrability, enabling us completely to modernise the way we work on the river on a reliable, efficient and safe working platform.”

The PLA’s biggest single investment in over 20 years, London Titan was designed by naval architects MacDuff Ship Design, working with PLA marine engineers, masters and crews.  She was built at Manor Marine’s shipyard in Portland, Dorset. See our earlier feature on Titan under construction HERE and the launch HERE

Her work is seen as vital on a river that is home to the UK’s second biggest port, with passenger and freight statistics at record levels - and traffic increasing every year.

Watch video of the new boat HERE


 Story dated December 3rd 2015