14 Mar 2018

Royal HaskoningDHV’s role has been as a member of this joint Naval Base Command, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Industry team preparing Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth to accommodate the vessel, including providing environmental consenting support.

The Royal Navy's new 65,000 tonne, £3.1 billion carrier, is the biggest in the fleet's history. It was commissioned at the end of 2017 and has since made a first overseas port visit.

To recognise the achievement, the Royal Navy’s 2nd Sea Lord - Vice Admiral Sir Jonathan Woodcock OBE officially awarded the Joint NBC, DIO and Industry team with the team commendation at a ceremony in Portsmouth.

Jackie Lavender, Technical Director and Marine Development Sector Lead at Royal HaskoningDHV said: “It has been a tremendous project to work on and we are proud to be part of the MoD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s team and are naturally delighted to receive this huge honour.

Jackie Lavender pictured with the Commendation | Royal HaskoningDHV

Image: Royal HaskoningDHV’s Jackie Lavender pictured with the Commendation alongside Royal Naval Captain Iain Greenlees OBE

"Our role over the last 12 years has involved carrying out the environmental impact assessment, gaining consent and then meeting post consent requirements for the Marine Licence required for the deepening, widening and lengthening of the approach channel to the Portsmouth Harbour and also refurbishment of the jetty to withstand the vessel when she is alongside."

"This was an enormous task and Royal HaskoningDHV’s expertise in the maritime sector benefitted the project in a number of ways including introducing an innovative way of assessing habitat loss under the Habitat Regulations."

"It was an emotional moment for us to see HMS Queen Elizabeth round the Isle of Wight at sunrise on the 16th August 2017 and arrive into Portsmouth for the first time knowing that Royal HaskoningDHV played a very large part in making all this possible."

The port area that was dredged was around 157 hectares, approximately the size of 200 football pitches.

Over the duration of the project a number of interesting issues had to be dealt with including the discovery of unexploded bombs, a human skull, cannons and anchors. The bombs dated from the Second World War, when the city was a target of German bombing, but many of the archaeological finds were much older dating back centuries.

The Commendation stated: “It is difficult to underestimate the complexity of the technical and project management challenges in co-ordinating this programme that this small joint team faced and overcame in the last three years, at a time of burdening financial constraint.

“Focussed on delivering the highest quality support centres for the QE Class and wider Flotilla, their achievements have only been possible by the selfless personal commitment of every individual across the team. Regardless of organisation and terms of reference, all have determinedly worked together where their effort was most needed for the enterprise in hand and, in achieving readiness for HMS Queen Elizabeth, they together merit the highest commendation.”