The Port of Rotterdam Authority has officially inaugurated the deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg and Botlek basin, making this port complex accessible for ships up to 15 meter draught.
The dredging scheme was carried out by Boskalis (Maassluis to the Benelux Tunnel and the Botlek) and Van der Kamp (from the Nieuwe Waterweg Maassluis to Hoek van Holland).
Rijkswaterstaat and the Port of Rotterdam Authority will be removing pipelines in three remaining places this summer, which will conclude the deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg and Botlek.
Commenting the latest milestone, Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, said: “This deepening enables us to open the Port of Rotterdam gateways even further for a new generation of sea-going vessels. Together with the Port Authority, we are investing the maritime accessibility of our Mainport Rotterdam Botlek area.”
John Kraakman, CEO Koole terminal, added: “The deepening enables us to better serve our clients at our terminals. It will result in further improvements in logistics as fewer ship movements will be needed. This also improves the logistics chain’s carbon footprint and lower logistics costs throughout the chain will improve the competitiveness of clients connected to us.”
Ronald Paul, COO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority, also said: “The deepening enables Rotterdam to improve its competitive position and modernize the Botlek into an area in which the latest bulk carriers and chemical tankers feel just as at home as the largest container ships on Maasvlakte 2.”
Under the plan, Rijkswaterstaat deepened the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Port of Rotterdam Authority deepened the Botlek. The deepening involved three different contract depths (everything in the New Amsterdam Water Level (NAP)).
The guaranteed nautical depth of the Botlek has changed from ≈14.5 meters to ≈15.90 meters.
Along the Nieuwe Waterweg, the first stretch from Hoek van Holland to Maassluis has been deepened from ≈ 15 meters to ≈ 16.20 meters.
The second section up to the Benelux Tunnel has a guaranteed depth of ≈16.40m. It used to be ≈14.5 meters.
“The additional 20 centimeters is required due to the lower salt content inland of the Nieuwe Waterweg which means ships need a greater water depth. After the deepening, ships with a draught of up to 15 meters, under normal circumstances, will be able to sail into the Botlek port,” said the Port of Rotterdam Authority 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.