Belgium: Government Opens Up Possibility for Antwerp Port Expansion
The Flemish government has opened up the possibility for the port of Antwerp to expand further in the coming decades. For this purpose a land use plan has been drawn up, offering a clear framework for companies, potential investors and local residents. The port will be able to develop more than 1,000 additional hectares for port activities in future.
The growth opportunities for the port were created by a decision of the Flemish government on 27 April, giving its approval to the initial draft of the regional land use plan entitled “Delimitation of the Antwerp seaport area.” The plan will be made definitive in 2013, representing a major step forward in land use planning for the port. It offers a long-term vision for sustainable port development, with a balance being struck between employment, residential areas, agriculture and nature conservation. Once the port area has been delimited the detailed allocation of land within the area will be defined.
On the right bank the option being pursued is “inward expansion,” i.e. making more intensive use of the existing area. There are more opportunities for outward expansion on the left bank. The Flemish government has reserved more than 1,000 hectares for port activities in the Saeftinghe Development Area to the North of the existing port. The definitive allocation of land for maritime, industrial or logistics activities will be decided later, but other important investments have already been made possible. These include the Schijns and Waasland logistics parks, the expansion of rail infrastructure (Main Hub and Freight Village), a holding dock for barges and two parking areas for trucks.
Antwerp Port Authority is very satisfied with the decision by the Flemish government, as it is crucial for the further development of the port.
Dredging Today Staff, May 9, 2012; Image: portofantwerp