Preparations are underway for the upcoming deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Botlek basin, reported today Port of Rotterdam Authority.
The deepening of Nieuwe Waterweg means that in the near future, larger-draught vessels will be able to access the Botlek area.
Consequently, the berths and quays along its ports will be deepened at the same time as the canal.
“This is a very important step, otherwise we will lose cargo to Antwerp, which can handle ships with draughts of up to 15 meters,” said Edwin Hupkes, project manager at the Port Authority.
“The shipping companies, the owners of the vessels, opt for ships that can call on a range of ports. They are deepening the Panama Canal as we speak. The extended depth will serve as the new standard. As the port of Rotterdam, we need to anticipate this.”
According to Hupkes, Nieuwe Waterweg needs to be deepened by another 1.5 meters, along a distance of 25 kilometers. The permit application specifies an average depth of 16.30 meters along the stretch between Hoek van Holland and the Benelux Tunnel.
The Port Authority is planning to start with the project – together with Rijkswaterstaat – in late 2016, after the financing structure has been determined. All in all, the deepening of Nieuwe Waterweg will only take 6 months, plus another 6 months for the Botlek port basins.