The Port of Rotterdam Authority has awarded a construction contract for 2.4km of quays and earth-retaining walls in Princess Amalia Harbour to the HOCHTIEF, Ballast Nedam, and Van Oord consortium.

The contract was awarded after the completion of a European tendering procedure.

Further development of the harbour located on Maasvlakte II is projected to increase the yearly throughput capacity by four million standard containers at the port.

The estimated additional container traffic will indicate an increase in capacity of approximately 28% compared with the 2020 annual total.

Port of Rotterdam Authority chief operating officer Boudewijn Siemons said: “Particularly because of e-commerce, container volumes are increasing sharply. 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 Princess Amalia Harbour. This is an investment that will boost the competitive position of our customers and of Rotterdam.”

Container terminals RWG and APM Terminals are already operating in the Princess Amalia Harbour with 1,500m and 1,700m of quay respectively.

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After the construction of the new deep-sea and inland shipping quays, the terminal operators will be able to develop other sites around the harbour.

The relevant options have already been signed by both terminal operators.

As part of the expansion project, a 160m waiting area for general use by inland shipping ships will also be constructed.

The new building work will be on both sides of the 2.5km-long harbour.

The harbour will comprise 1,825m of the deep-sea quay, 360m of soil-retaining walls,  and 160m of inland shipping quay.

The quays will have a retaining height of 29m.

The first 500m of quay wall is expected to be completed in late 2022 while the final part of the project will be finished after 18 months.

Furthermore, the quays will be dredged to a depth of more than 20m below sea level.

A rear crane track will also be constructed on piles over nearly 1.8km for the rear legs of the container cranes that will be used at the port.

The quays will be fitted with a variety of sensors, which will monitor forces and any deformation.

ECOncrete blocks will be used at two positions. It will act as artificial reefs and promote biodiversity below the water.