Officials of the Netherlands have granted permission for the deepening of the NieuweWaterweg and the Botlekport.

The project, which is approved by Rijkswaterstaat and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, will ensure that sea-going vessels, with a draught of 15m, can also reach the Botlek port.

Rijkswaterstaat is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and is responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands.

Following the deepening, New Panamax and Aframax ships will be able to navigate the NieuweWaterweg without any restrictions.

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Set to last for a period of nearly six months, the deepening work will be carried out by KoninklijkeBoskalis Westminster and Van der Kamp.

The project will involve the deepening of the Botlek and the NieuweWaterweg, the Scheur and the Nieuwe Maasover, which is a distance of 25km.

“If larger tankers can enter the Botlek port, it will reinforce the business case for investments in capacity expansion.”

Port of Rotterdam Authority COO Ronald Paul said: “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 large vessel can enter with every tide. Soon, in favourable circumstances, this will be three large vessels.”

As part of the plans, Rijkswaterstaat will deepen the NieuweWaterweg, while the Port of Rotterdam Authority will deepen the Botlek.

The deepening will include three different contract depths. The depth of the Botlek will go from around 14.5m (New Amsterdam Water Level (NAP)) to approximately 15.90m.

Along the NieuweWaterweg, the first stretch from Hoek van Holland to Maassluis will be deepened from around 15m to 16.20m. The second segment up to the Benelux Tunnel will have a guaranteed depth of 16.40m from the earlier 14.5m.