The Netherlands: Parallel Building Flows

We have now been busy on the expansion of the Rotterdam port for two years. More than twenty trailing suction hopper dredgers have been depositing their cargo of sand day and night on the bed of the North Sea. Cutter suction dredgers have been making their contribution from the depths of the docks.

Anyone who has come to FutureLand recently to look at the work has been able to see that the Netherlands is getting bigger. The boundary between land and water has been shifted by 3,5 kilometres. In between lie sand surfaces that are being worked on all out. Visibly and invisibly all work flows are now in operation.

Besides laying down inconceivable amounts of sand, special vessels are depositing enormous amounts of gravel, pebbles, stones and boulders.

The stone company that is working in parallel with the sand company is making sure that the hard sea defence will soon be fit for its job above and below water: keeping out the swirling seawater, even in extreme weather conditions.

New quay walls are being created from steel and concrete on and in the new sand. Over 680 metres of quay has been put in place. New roads and railway lines have been off the drawing board for some time. For example, this autumn, work will start on the new access to Maasvlakte 2. So we are definitely not lazing around realising a major chunk of the future of the port.

It wouldn’t be possible anyway because we have made agreements: with lessees, banks, licensing authorities, managers, stakeholders and the political world. The idea was to give the economy an impulse, and also the living environment in Rijnmond. This is our commission and it remains our aim.

I can see that we are fulfilling this agreement. Many lines converge on my desk, every day anew. The world economy that is climbing out of its dip helps, and the jointly-made agreements contribute too.

Interest groups follow our progress critically and make constructive suggestions. No one wants to lose sight of our aim. Next year we will experience the peak of all these parallel activities. The Port Authority will invest almost half a billion euros in the project in 2011. The years thereafter will also be busy because then the future terminal operators will start building up their businesses. So to keep it short, the expansion of the Rotterdam port is progressing at full speed and as planned.

Ronald Paul
Managing Director, Project Organization Maasvlakte 2


Source: Maasvlakte 3, September 2, 2010