The Netherlands: Bright Future for APM Terminals Facility at Maasvlakte 2

Bright Future for APM Terminals Facility at Maasvlakte 2

The APM Terminals facility at Rotterdam’s new Maasvlakte 2 will probably become the world’s most automated facility: unmanned (remote‐controlled) Ship‐to‐Shore 25‐wide container gantries and Automatic Guided Vehicles/AGV communicating between the StS gantries and the fully automated stacking cranes.

It should all result in an exceptional high production, allowing the terminal to reach its planned 2.7 million TEU capacity (in the first phase) with just eight StS or more than 300,000 TEU per unit per year. The box handler’s existing straddle carrier‐based Maasvlakte I terminal at has a similar capacity served by 14 StS gantries going maximum 21 boxes across ship.

Although always wished if not demanded, the (much) higher production of APM Terminals Maasvlakte 2 has also become a requirement to handle Maersk Line’s new, soon to be commissioned 18,300 TEU Triple‐E units. As those are (nearly) equally long as the Danes’ 15,600 TEU E‐Class units (400 and 397 metres, respectively, it will not be possible to add more quay cranes to handle the (maximum) extra 2,700 TEU the Triple‐E can carry.

Maritime access

Considerable simulation research was carried out for the waterways on Maasvlakte 2. This helped determine the shape and width of the waterways and port basins that were constructed. The Yangtzekanaal is 600 metres wide so that two mega container ships can pass each other while a third is moored at the quay. The dominant wind direction in the Netherlands is southwest. The Amaliahaven has the same orientation, so moored vessels catch less wind there. And the shape of Maasvlakte 2 has reduced the cross current in the mouth of the Nieuwe Waterweg. Vessels with deep draught in particular now have less trouble with this.

On 1 September 2008, the then mayor Opstelten gave the go-ahead for the construction of Maasvlakte 2. Contractors Boskalis and Van Oord, united in PUMA, sprayed 240 million cubic metres of sand (160 times Rotterdam’s De Kuip soccer stadium filled to the brim), constructed a 3.5-km hard seawall with 7 million tonnes of stone and 20,000 concrete blocks from the old seawall, built several kilometres of quay wall and laid down roads and railway lines. The port now has 700 hectares more land for business sites. Another 300 hectares will be added to this in the second phase. Work is currently still underway to achieve the optimum connection of the infrastructure on Maasvlakte 2 to the existing port area.

A series of important milestones were achieved in 2012. The bathing beach was opened for use in May. Queen Beatrix closed the seawall in July, while the road and railway along the seawall were opened in October. The latter was necessary before work could start in November on opening the Yangtzekanaal through to Maasvlakte 2. This was required to provide access for vessels with equipment for the new container terminals of APMT and RWG.

[mappress]

Source: portofrotterdam, June 19, 2013

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