Tauw, an independent European consulting and engineering company specialized in the design, improvement and management of the natural environment, has landed a new framework contract for performing sediment assessments for the Port of Rotterdam during the next 3 years, from 2015 up to and including 2017.
“The expectation is that in the next few years many sediment assessments will be required,” said contract manager Remco Pikaar. “In the near future, the ports of Rotterdam and the sea ports of Dordrecht and Vlaardingen must be accessible for increasingly large vessels with deeper draughts.”
“Take, for example, the arrival of the world’s largest container ship, the CSCL Globe, or the Pieter Schelte, the world’s largest jack-up vessel that can, among other things, transport oil rig constructions in one piece. Both vessels have never been to Rotterdam before. Over the next few years, the Rotterdam Port Authority is investing in revitalizing existing port areas,” added Remco.
A major priority is accessibility for port-related businesses. An example of this is the Nieuwe Waterweg and Botlekhaven Deepening project.
Deepening the Nieuwe Waterweg canal is essential for the desired accessibility of the Botlek port area for larger vessels. At Botlek, 50 million tonnes of cargo are transferred annually.
The port must be made suitable for deeper berths: from Panamax-class vessels (maximum draught 13–14 m) to Aframax-class vessels (maximum draught 15–16 m).
In deepening the Nieuwe Waterweg, approximately 5.5 million cubic meters of sediment which does not yet have a fixed destination, will be dug up.
“In this project Tauw is currently performing very large-scale sediment assessments,” said project advisor Saskia Buijs. “Nautical dredging activities require a different approach than regular sediment assessment.“
“Here coordination between policy, the envisaged disposal (with various competent authorities) and the translation into practical implementation plays a crucial role. Other factors also play a role in the port area, such as (extreme) weather conditions, tidal effects, busy shipping traffic and large ships, and the potential presence of undetonated explosives,” added Saskia.
Another project for which Tauw is currently performing sediment assessments is the establishment of several ship-to-ship transfers in the port area. Establishing a total of 22 ship-to-ship transfers will reduce both mooring times of vessels and the burden on the environment at the quays.