Nieuwe Waterweg Dredging Program Kicks Off

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, and Ronald Paul, COO Port of Rotterdam Authority, yesterday gave the official go-ahead for the deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Botlek areas.

Rijkswaterstaat and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have joined forces to ensure that sea-going vessels with a draught of 15 meters can also reach the Botlek port.

“The deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Botlek is an investment in the accessibility of the Rotterdam Mainport. We are opening the door further, which will quickly give the port of Rotterdam the space for the ever larger sea-going vessels. The deepening of the waterway will ensure a better competitive position for companies in the Botlek area,” said Cora van Nieuwenhuizen.

The initiation of the project took place in FutureLand, the Port of Rotterdam information center.

The waterway will be deepened over a length of 25 kilometers.

The deepening process, set to last approximately six months, will be carried out by Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Maassluis to the Benelux Tunnel and the Botlek) and Van der Kamp B.V. (from the Nieuwe Waterweg Maassluis to Hoek van Holland).


Rijkswaterstaat will deepen the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Port of Rotterdam Authority will deepen the Botlek.

The deepening will encompass three different contract depths. The depth of the Botlek will go from ≈ 14.5m (New Amsterdam Water Level (NAP)) to ≈ 15.90m.

Along the Nieuwe Waterweg, the first stretch from Hoek van Holland to Maassluis will be deepened from ≈ 15m to ≈ 16.20m.

The second section up to the Benelux Tunnel will have a guaranteed depth of ≈ 16.40m.

After the deepening, ships with a draught of up to 15 meters, under normal circumstances, will be able to sail into the Botlek port, Port of Rotterdam said in its release.

Ships with a draught of maximum 14.90 meters can already sail through the new Panama Canal, so New Panamax ships will be able to reach the Botlek without any restrictions.

Image source: Port of Rotterdam