First Cargo Transhipped at Rotterdam's Sheltered Waters Facility

By George Backwell
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Maasvlakte 2 facility: Photo Port of Rotterdam

The Port of Rotterdam says that the first commercial cargo has been transhipped on the inner waters of Maasvlakte 2. At one of the two specially designed berths, oil products were transhipped from the ‘Blue Marlin’ to the ‘Chemtrans Sea’.

As the berths are sheltered, it is possible to work faster, more reliably and more safely than on open sea. At the end of this year, the terminals on Maasvlakte 2 will be operational and containers will also be handled there.

The Port explains that the cargo handling facilities in the northwest corner of Maasvlakte 2 are an expansion of the already existing ship to ship locations in the port. For the new berths, two sets of eight large poles have been erected. At these dolphins, ships with a length of 225 to 350 metres can moor. The maximum depth of water is 23.65 metres NAP (New Amsterdam Water Level).

Both fuels and other liquid cargo, as well as dry goods such as coal and grains, can be transhipped at the dolphins. In addition, they are places of refuge for ships in need. Approximately €9 million was invested in the berths. 


Less risk
The Port Authority hopes that the new location will attract transhipment operations which currently take place ship to ship at sea, for example off the Southeast coast of England (Southwold) and Denmark (Skagen). This creates environmental and safety risks. In the port, the risks are much smaller and the transhipment operations provide a lot or work for service providers. The transhipment of cargo this weekend on the inner waters is the first commercial activity on Maasvlakte 2.

Capacity expansion
The handling of dry bulk at the new berths represents an expansion of the total capacity of the bulk terminals in the port of Rotterdam. The floating cranes used for handling this type of cargo are supplied mainly by these terminals.

Director of Industry and Bulk Cargo Business at the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Bas Hennissen, says he is happy with the capacity expansion: “In Rotterdam, we are always on the look-out for new ways of extending our service. This is a two-edged sword. We can attract new business through and for our customers. At the same time, we reduce the environmental risks associated with ship to ship handling at sea”.
 
Photo: Aeroview - At dolphin 90, at the bottom of the picture, the Chemtrans Sea is transferring oil products from the Blue Marlin. The Princimar Loyalty is moored at dolphin 91.
 

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