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Published: January 2008      

Antwerp digs for 12,000 TEU ships

Buoyed by a 14.3% increase in container traffic to 8M TEU in 2007, the Port of Antwerp has launched its long-desired Scheldt deepening programme. By late 2009, following the removal of 11 sand sills, the port should be accessible for ships with a draught up to 13.1m at any state of the tide, compared to 11.5m today. The future 13.1m navigational depth will be guaranteed and will represent an actual water depth of 14.7m, as a 12.5% keel clearance must be observed.

According to port authority (GHA) director Eddy Bruyninckx, of the 1200 container ships inbound or outbound that had to observe a tidal window in 2007 up to the end of November, 75% will be able to call or leave at any state of the tide once the programme is completed. Moreover, the tidal windows for the remaining 25%, the deepest draught ships, will be considerably wider than today’s as each sand sill removal will extend it by 15 minutes....


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