Officials have approved the deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Botlek to ensure that sea-going vessels with a draught of 15 meters can reach the Botlek port.
The project, approved by Rijkswaterstaat and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, represents an important improvement for the accessibility of the Botlek and the competitive position of the port of Rotterdam.
The deepening process will take approximately six months and will be carried out by Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster and Van der Kamp. It will allow the new Panamax and Aframax ships to navigate the Nieuwe Waterweg without any restrictions.
Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of infrastructure and water management says: ‘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.’
Ronald Paul, COO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority, adds: ‘If larger tankers can enter the Botlek port, it will reinforce the business case for investments in capacity expansion. Larger ships translate into more cargo, more cargo handling and a better utilisation of storage tanks. Currently, one larger vessel can enter with every tide. Soon – in favourable circumstances – this will be three large vessels. This is a big step forward.’