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Rotterdam Botlek deepening completed

Rotterdam has inaugurated the deepening of the river and the Botlek basin, making this port complex accessible for ships up to 15m draught

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Rotterdam Botlek deepening completed

The operation involved 5M m3 of dredging works over a 25-km stretch of the Nieuwe Waterweg/New Waterway into the big Botlek basins. The €70M project (50/50 Dutch transport department/Rotterdam port authority – HbR) has added 1.4m to 1.9m of water depth. The project started in March 2018 and was originally scheduled for completion in late August last year. Its completion was marked by the arrival of the tanker DELTA MARINER, as it berthed at the Koole terminal (port number 4045) on Saturday 20th April with a 15m draught.


Now enjoying unrestricted accessibility for fully laden New Panamax ships, the Botlek basin might increase its annual cargo volume of around 50 Mt by between 5 Mt and 10 Mt, it is hoped.


Koole Terminal’s CEO John Kraakman noted how the deepening will result in the need for fewer ships and consequently improve his customers’ logistics, carbon footprint and transport costs. Ronald Paul, HbR’s COO, commented that the deepening will further the Botlek’s competitiveness and will make new generations of bulkcarriers and chemical tankers feel as much at home there as the ultra large container carriers do at the two Maasvlaktes.


Effectively, the operation has extended the guaranteed water depth on the Nieuwe Waterweg to -16.20m on the first stretch from the sea near Hook of Holland, followed by -16.40m further inland between Maassluis and the Benelux Tunnel. The Botlek basis itself now has -15.90m. The only thing left to do to make it ‘official’ is the removal of three obsolete power lines in the coming months.

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