The contractors working on the Maasvlakte 2 project reached completion for Rotterdam Port Authority yesterday.
The Maasvlakte 2 extension has increased port capacity by 2,000 hectares. Extensive studies were conducted using scale models, advanced software and simulators. Deltares tested and optimised the design of the 3.5 km hard seawall.
Marcel van Gent, the Maasvlakte 2 project manager at Deltares, describes the completion of the new port extension as a fantastic achievement by PUMA, the Maasvlakte extension consortium that included the companies Boskalis and Van Oord. ‘It’s not often that large construction projects like this are completed within time and on budget. The final completion of the Maasvlakte 2 shows how PUMA has performed impressively on the creation of this new part of the Netherlands. And I’m very happy that PUMA gave innovation a chance during the design of the hard sea wall.’
The design was extensively tested in the Deltares Delta and Scheldt Flumes. Marcel van Gent said: ‘Every series of tests generated new ideas for making the design ever more innovative and economical. The ultimate result is a hard sea wall that is unique in the world. It combines a block dam and a “pebble beach” (a slope structure made up of loose stones), and it complies with extremely strict safety standards. Nobody has ever managed before to design a pebble beach that meets such stringent safety requirements.’
“The scale tests for the Maasvlakte sea defences taught us a great deal, particularly about how we can use pebble beaches. This is an approach that other land reclamation projects can use to their advantage,’ believes Marcel van Gent. ‘It’s an innovative solution that can save millions, and still provide optimal protection.’
At present, Deltares is working hard on the construction of a new Delta Flume in Delft. It is larger than the current facility and it is possible to generate waves with a height of up to 4 m. That makes it possible to test designs for sandy and hard sea defences to see how they cope with extremely severe storms.
Press Release, April 17, 2013