The UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded a contract to VolkerStevin Marine to build a specialist marine facility in Portsmouth for loading ammunition onto Royal Navy Type 45 frigates.

VolkerStevin is currently executing the design phase of the £18m project, which includes specialist plant and equipment.

The facility will provide docking and loading facilities for the warships, and the cranes will be specially designed to safely handle ammunition for the vessels.

VolkerStevin Marine project manager Gerrit Smit said the company is working alongside the MoD operational teams on the detailed design of the facility.

“We are adapting our construction methods, plant selection and material logistics to take account of the sensitive nature of the environment we are building in.”

Work under the contract is scheduled to commence next month and will continue until mid 2012.