Antwerp Plans Tidal Dock Project

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In a bid to boost its container handling capacity by 2020-2021, the Port of Antwerp is making preparations for a new, large tidal dock.

PTI previously reported that the Port of Antwerp’s Deurganck Dock has been flooded, having had around 1.5 million cubic metres of water pumped into its structure.

The Port Authority of Antwerp plans for the first phase of the Saeftinghe dock to be operational as of 2021, with 1,400 metres of quay and a minimum capacity of 5.1 million TEU, with the costs for this first phase of the dock estimated at US$741 million.

In addition to the construction of the first phase of the Saeftinghe dock, the project includes the development of non-maritime zones and back-quay terminal areas.

Luc Arnouts, CCO of the Port Authority of Antwerp, said: “We operate in an international, competitive environment where maintaining a top position is a daily challenge, not something to be taken for granted. It is not yet clear when the second phase of the Saeftinghe dock, which ultimately will be more than four kilometres long, will enter operation.

“The Port Authority aims for controlled expansion of capacity. This means in practice that we have to keep a very close watch on the market, and not simply throw more capacity onto the market if there is no demand for it. We were already prepared to offer the Saeftinghe Development Area on the market in 2008, but in view of the timing – right on the edge of the worldwide economic crisis – we put the project on hold.”

Container shipping line MSC, who has recently announced plans to launch a social campaign to better connect with its customers, is due to shift its operations in Antwerp from one bank of the Scheldt to the other at the beginning of 2016.

On the back of these developmental plans, Antwerp achieved TEU growth of 9.5% in the first three months of 2015.

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