The Netherlands: Maasvlakte 2 Achieves Important Milestone

This weekend, the first commercial cargo was transhipped on the inner waters of Maasvlakte 2. At one of the two specially designed berths, oil products were transhipped from the ‘Blue Marlin’ to the ‘Chemtrans Sea’.

As the berths are sheltered, it is possible to work faster, more reliably and more safely than on open zee. At the end of this year, the terminals on Maasvlakte 2 will be operational and containers will also be handled there.

The cargo handling facilities in the northwest corner of Maasvlakte 2 are an expansion of the already existing ship to ship locations in the port. For the new berths, two sets of eight large poles have been erected. At these dolphins, ships with a length of 225 to 350 metres can moor. The maximum depth of water is 23.65 metres NAP (New Amsterdam Water Level).

Both fuels and other liquid cargo, as well as dry goods such as coal and grains, can be transhipped at the dolphins. In addition, they are places of refuge for ships in need. Approximately €9 million was invested in the berths.

Less risk

The Port Authority hopes that the new location will attract transhipment operations which currently take place ship to ship at sea, for example off the Southeast coast of England (Southwold) and Denmark (Skagen). This creates environmental and safety risks. In the port, the risks are much smaller and the transhipment operations provide a lot or work for service providers. The transhipment of cargo this weekend on the inner waters is the first commercial activity on Maasvlakte 2.

Capacity expansion

The handling of dry bulk at the new berths represents an expansion of the total capacity of the bulk terminals in the port of Rotterdam. The floating cranes used for handling this type of cargo are supplied mainly by these terminals.

Director of Industry and Bulk Cargo Business at the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Bas Hennissen, said: “In Rotterdam, we are always on the look-out for new ways of extending our service. This is a two-edged sword. We can attract new business through and for our customers. At the same time, we reduce the environmental risks associated with ship to ship handling at sea.”

Phased completion

The new transhipment facility is possible because, according to the plan, Maasvlakte 2 is to be completed in phases. To limit undeveloped land to a minimum, the Port of Rotterdam Authority will not create any new sites through rainbowing until market developments demand it. Therefore, ship to ship handling is an efficient use of the space temporarily available. In the future, Maasvlakte 2 will provide room for a further 300 hectares of new commercial sites.

Press Release, June 17, 2014

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