The construction of Maasvlakte 2 is still on schedule and the first phase is close to completion.
After the ‘back door’ was closed on 11 July 2012, contractor PUMA (Boskalis and Van Oord) will open the ‘front door’ next weekend. That is when the Yangtzehaven cut-through will start. The temporary inland lake that was created on Maasvlakte 2 will disappear so that the new port will soon be accessible to the ships which need to moor at the APM Terminals Maasvlakte II (AMPT MVII) and the Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) terminal in 2014. Both container terminals are hard at work with the construction on their freshly reclaimed land.
APM Terminals Maasvlakte II
As a future operator on Maasvlakte 2, APM Terminals Maasvlakte II (AMPT MVII) is making good progress on its new container terminal. The construction of the terminal is proceeding on schedule with the opening planned for November 2014. The terminal design signifies a step forward in productivity and sustainability. The cut-through of the Yangtzehaven next weekend is important for APMT MVII so that it can receive its first ship with crane parts in the spring of 2013.
With a quay wall depth of 20 metres and the highest deep sea cranes in the world, this terminal will soon be open for the arrival of the latest generation of 18,000-TEU container ships. The first phase of the terminal covers 86 hectares and has a capacity of 2.7 million TEU per year. The terminal can expand to 167 hectares and a capacity of 4.5 million TEU per year.
Rotterdam World Gateway
The construction of Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG), Rotterdam’s new container terminal on Maasvlakte 2, is on schedule. The site on the Amaliahaven is gaining more and more shape now that RWG started on the asphalting in the summer. It is anticipated that the terminal will be opened in the autumn of 2014. The placement of the quay cranes one year before that is an important milestone. Terminal testing will also start around that time, so that by the spring of 2014 the first ship can moor.
The terminal is shooting up on a 108-hectare site and has a deep sea quay of 1150 metres long and 20 metres deep. A 550-metre inland shipping quay has also been constructed. Eleven deep sea cranes and three cranes for inland vessels will be placed on these quays. Together with around 50 stacking cranes and 60 AGVs (automatically guided vehicles that will move the containers around the site), this will ultimately deliver a capacity of 2.35 million TEU.
Both terminals are expected to be the most modern in the world. This will make it possible to handle the next generation of ultra-large container ships in Rotterdam. The new container terminals will each have rail connections which must meet the latest requirements in rail safety. The connections for both terminals are planned to be ready by the end of 2013. This will enable the terminals to be fully set up for the intermodal handling of the cargo – the basis of the modal shift objective of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. This means that as many containers as possible are transported to the hinterland by inland shipping and rail.
Road and rail along the seawall
The Yangtzehaven will be connected to the ports on Maasvlakte 2 next weekend and that is due to the opening of the road and rail along the new seawall. The road and rail were opened on 19 and 28 October respectively, opening up access via Maasvlakte 2 to the businesses of Euromax, MOT and GATE. This made it possible to remove the existing infrastructure on the Yangtzehaven shortly afterwards. In the short time between 11 July (closing of the seawall by Queen Beatrix) and the end of October, the last section of the seawall was raised to the required height and the road and rail were built. The sport beach has also been open since October.
Viaduct Junction E
Construction work at the entrance to the ECT and APMT terminals on Maasvlakte 1 has also commenced. Traffic from and to Euromax has not come past here since October. Traffic to the new APMT terminal on Maasvlakte 2 will travel from this junction when it is opened in 2014. The traffic will then be able to be properly integrated with the existing infrastructure, although a flyover intersection will be required in the future to allow the smooth flow of all the truck traffic. The coming two years is a period of less traffic than before (Euromax traffic) and after (more traffic again to the new APM terminal). That is why the junction is being redeveloped between now and the summer of 2014. The current level junction with traffic lights will turn into a flyover junction. Contractor MNO Vervat is constructing this Viaduct Junction E.
The Prinses Margriethaven opposite FutureLand will be set up as a service port in 2013. Waiting berths for inland shipping and nautical service providers such as tugs and boatmen will come here.
Agreements with stakeholders
Numerous agreements with authorities and NGOs about the way Maasvlakte 2 would be constructed, the effects it would be permitted to have on the environment, compensatory measures in the existing port area and suchlike were made before the construction of Maasvlakte 2 started. These agreements were laid down in agreements and licences. Thus various authorities, social interest groups from the business sector and nature and environmental organisations, and the Port Authority concluded the Vision and Trust agreement in May 2008. It was agreed that DCMR would monitor compliance with the agreements for the coming 25 years. The obligations have been met thus far and only the accessibility of the beach by public transport has turned out to be a difficult point to achieve.
A report on the effects on life in the North Sea will be published in 2013. Even before construction commenced, a start was made to measure life at a large number of locations in the North Sea (among other things) several times a year and at different times of the year. Due to the large number of factors affecting this, it is not possible for a long time to say whether the construction of Maasvlakte 2 has any effect. Currently the measurements give no reason to think that this is the case.
Source: portofrotterdam, November 22, 2012; Image: portofrotterdam