Maasvlakte 2, providing ample space for the future



René van der Plas, managing director, project organisation Maasvlakte 2, Rotterdam, the Netherlands


Maasvlakte 2 was the next logical step in the continued development of the port of Rotterdam. Through its strategic position within the European market, its excellent hinterland connections and the many available facilities, the port has enormous business drawing power. In anticipation of the ongoing demand for space, the Botlek was created in the middle of the last century. The Europort followed in the 1960s, and the current Maasvlakte in the 1970s. Over 15 years ago, the growing world trade, expansion of ports elsewhere in the world and forecasts based on the annual throughput of containers in Rotterdam, clarified the need for another extension of the port of Rotterdam. Maasvlakte 2 is a 20 feet deep port that has space for deep sea related container activities, distribution and chemical industry. This makes Maasvlakte 2 the gateway to Europe with 24 hour access for the largest containerships of the future.

Broad package

The construction of Maasvlakte 2 is not occurring in isolation. The land reclamation is part of a broad package of measures which will both enhance the main port and improve the social and environmental climate of the area. Five Dutch ministries, the Province of South Holland, the Rotterdam City District and the Rotterdam Municipality all joined hands in 1997 in the Rotterdam Main Port Development Project, or PMR. PMR encompasses three inextricably linked projects. These are the construction of Maasvlakte 2, including extensive compensation measures for the nature areas which will be lost in the process. Looking at the existing Rotterdam areas: execution of a large number of projects in the existing port and industrial zone for more efficient use of the space and improvement of the social climate. And finally the construction of 750 hectares (nearly three square miles) of new nature and recreation area in the immediate vicinity of Rotterdam….

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