Port of Antwerp awarded EU funds to improve container capacity

antwerp container

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU’s funding programme, has awarded €10.91 million ($12.88 million) to the Port of Antwerp’s project to increase container capacity.

In a statement, the Port said the Extra Container Capacity Antwerp (ECA) project shows its importance to European trade and place in the global supply chain.

It will be used to carry out detailed studies to identify the most sustainable solution, in order to create a supported project that reconciles the needs of the economy, the environment and our climate, the Port said.

The co-financing will be used to finance the planned studies that form part of the elaboration phase of the project.

Those studies are essential in order to ensure that the project is implemented in a way that most effectively serves the needs of the economy, while also enhancing quality of life.

Besides expansion, the project will also focus on optimising the use of land within the existing port area.

The technical study into the design of the second tidal dock envisages a solution that will ensure maximum efficiency, while minimising the impact on the environment.

Extra capacity in the port of Antwerp is essential in order to absorb the expected growth and to consolidate its position as a key hub within a global network.

The funding from the CEF confirms the high added value of the ECA project as a forward-looking response to the bottleneck already being faced by container traffic.

ECA seeks to bring about a modal shift, in which goods will increasingly be transported by inland navigation and rail. This will reduce emissions and optimise the connection with the hinterland, which will be of value both to the economy and also to the environment.

The ECA represents “a crucial step” in Port of Antwerp’s vision of being a home port for a sustainable future. Expanding the port’s container capacity will therefore primarily take the form of innovative solutions that serve to create infrastructure that is both future-proof and climate-proof at the same time.

The ‘dock of the future’ will take the form of hyper-efficient terminals and high productivity, combined with an exceptionally low footprint.

Emissions from ships and from terminals in the port will be kept to a minimum by means of low-emission handling technologies, shore-based power, circular construction techniques and stricter regulations.

Lydia Peeters, the Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works, said, “We are very excited to have been allocated European funding for three of our Flemish investment projects.

“This will enable us to shape the future mobility of Flanders and of Europe and will also provide a significant boost to the Flemish economy.

“The ECA project is an example of a project that focuses on future-oriented infrastructure: a sustainable solution that responds to the urgent need for extra capacity in the port of Antwerp.”

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp, also commented, “The container segment has continued to grow, even during the challenging year we have just experienced.

“This therefore confirms the urgent need for additional capacity. However, the manner in which we create that additional capacity is at least as important.

“It must be achieved in a sustainable way that respects the climate and the environment, so that is why we are fully engaged in realising a more carefully designed project that is future-proof and climate-friendly at the same time.

“We are setting a new standard in the container business as a means of accelerating the greening of the industry.”

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