Extra 2.4 kilometres of quays for Rotterdam’s Princess Amalia Harbour

The Princess Amalia Harbour will be further developed with some 2.4 kilometres of quays and earth-retaining walls. This will increase annual throughput capacity in the port of Rotterdam by four million TEU. Construction will be carried out by the HOCHTIEF, Ballast Nedam and Van Oord contractor consortium.

‘Particularly because of e-commerce, container volumes are increasing sharply,’ explains Boudewijn Siemons, Chief Operating Officer of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. ‘That will continue for the time being. To further strengthen our leading position as Europe’s largest container port, we are now responding to this development by investing in the further expansion of the Princess Amalia Harbour.’

The potential additional container traffic of four million TEU is equivalent to an increase in capacity of about 28 per cent over the 2020 annual total.

Waiting area for inland shipping

Container terminals APM Terminals and RWG are already active in the Princess Amalia Harbour, with 1500 and 1700 metres of quay respectively. The construction of new deep-sea and inland shipping quays will allow these companies to develop the other sites around this harbour in time. Both terminal operators have already signed the relevant options. The project also includes the construction of a 160-metre waiting area for general use by inland shipping vessels.

The new building work will be on either side of the harbour, which is approximately 2.5 kilometres long. This total will include 1,825 metres of deep-sea quay, 160 metres of inland shipping quay and 360 metres of soil-retaining walls. Barring 725 metres, this means that the entire harbour basin, which went into use in 2015, will be enclosed. Completion of the first 500 metres of quay wall is expected in late 2022. The final part of the project will be completed no more than eighteen months later.

Crane track, sensors and artificial reefs

In addition to the construction of the quays, which will have a retaining height of 29 metres, the work also involves dredging the quays to a depth of more than 20 metres below sea level. In addition, a rear crane track will be built on piles over a distance of approximately 1.8 kilometres for the rear legs of the container cranes that will be used here.

The quays will be state-of-the-art. For example, they will be fitted with a wide range of sensors to monitor forces and any deformation. In addition, ECOncrete blocks will be used at two locations to act as artificial reefs and encourage biodiversity below the water.

Construction materials by water and HVO

‘By looking at the project from the perspective of a range of disciplines and working with partners in the chain, a variety of solutions were elaborated to come up with the most sustainable and efficient working method,’ says Ronald de Geus, managing director of Ballast Nedam Infra Projects. ‘For example, we will be reducing disruption in the local area by bringing in most of the construction materials by water. That allows us to ensure that the operations of the container terminals can continue interrupted during the course of the project.’

‘We are paying particular attention to reducing emissions during the operation,’ says Mark van der Hoeven, Netherlands director with Van Oord. ‘By deploying equipment powered by Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), as well as electric construction equipment, we are fully in line with the Port Authority’s ambitions to significantly reduce harmful emissions.’

Picture: Impression of the new quays in the Prinses Amaliahaven (by Port of Rotterdam).

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.