Ports of Nagoya and Antwerp Sign Sister Port Agreement

The port of Antwerp and the port of Nagoya have renewed their collaboration agreement. The agreement expands on the treaty of friendship that was first signed 25 years ago.

The formal signing of the renewed twinning agreement was held on 28th August during a ceremony on the construction site for the new Deurganckdocklock, giving access to the left bank of the river Scheldt. This lock will enter operation in 2016 and will be the biggest in the world. The agreement was signed on behalf of Nagoya Port Authority by executive vice president Takayuki Kondo.

The signatories for Antwerp Port Authority were port alderman and Port Authority chairman Marc Van Peel and CEO Eddy Bruyninckx. The governor of the province of Antwerp, Mrs Cathy Berx attended the ceremony.

Nagoya is the fourth-largest city in Japan and capital of the prefecture of Aichi, with some 2.3 million inhabitants. The city has also developed into a centre of trade and industry. Important industries include car manufacturing, chemicals, paper and toys. Nagoya is also a major port, with a freight volume of 203 million tonnes in 2012 including 2.7 million TEU of containers.

The port of Antwerp for its part had a freight volume of 184 million tonnes in 2012 and handled just over 8.6 million TEU, making it the second-largest port in Europe. It is also home to the largest petrochemical cluster in Europe. In the meantime a number of Japanese companies have established a firm footing in Antwerp. Thus the Japanese forwarder Meiko Europe recently celebrated 35 years of presence in Antwerp. The NYK shipping company for its part has been established in Antwerp for more than 100 years and now has its own ro/ro terminal here. The car company Mazda has its European hub in the port of Antwerp.

In the new twinning agreement the Nagoya and Antwerp port authorities emphasise that they will collaborate in projects that further strengthen the links between the two ports, that they will share best practices in port management, and that they will examine ways of further promoting trade between the ports.

World beater

Deurganckdocklock will be the largest lock in the world, with a length of 500 m, a width of 68 m and a depth (relative to the local datum point) of 17.8 m. It is deeper than, but based on the design of, the Port of Antwerp’s Berendrecht lock, which has also acted as a model for upgraded locks on the Panama Canal.

In addition to its size, the Deurganck lock will be notable for its massive concrete L-shaped sluice walls, its rapid filling and emptying, and the two “wheelbarrow type” metal gates at each end.

The Deurganckdocklock will contain:

● 795,000 m³ of reinforced concrete

● 22,000 tonnes of structural steel

● 57,000 m³ of sheet piling reinforcement

Construction progress

Some 255 people are currently working on the Deurganckdocklock project, which began in November 2011. Works include dredging of the approach channel; excavation and some back-filling; concrete construction (started Mid November); and the installation of steel structures such as lock doors and road and rail bridges.

Press Release, August 29, 2013

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