Rotterdam: a port for the economy of the future
A vital organ in the economy of the Netherlands and north-western Europe as a whole, the Port of Rotterdam has been nearing capacity for some time as the demand for space rises. Its expansion was essential and the EIB is supporting it with a loan of EUR 900m.
Already the completion of an 11 km sea wall as part of the Maasvlakte 2 project has changed the Port of Rotterdam as well as the Dutch coastline, which is now 3.5 km further out to sea.
Once the project is finished the area of reclaimed land will be around 2 000 hectares, which is around the size of Schiphol Airport, and will boost the overall Port of Rotterdam to 12 500 hectares.
In the new area, half of the space will be occupied by infrastructure: seawalls, hard and soft, railways, roads and port basins with depths of up to 20 metres. These will be able to accommodate container ships that currently cannot operate out of many European ports. The other half will be dedicated to industrial sites.
Shipping carries 90% of EU external trade and the project will double the capacity for container traffic. The first containers will be processed in the second half of 2014. A cycle path and beach are part of the development, as are enlargement of the dunes and a seabed protection area to ensure that wildlife and nature are taken into account.