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Rotterdam Begins Deepening of New Waterway

Rotterdam Begins Deepening of New Waterway
Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management and Ronald Paul (COO Port of Rotterdam Authority) gave the official go-ahead for the deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Botlek.

Rijkswaterstaat and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have joined forces to ensure that sea-going vessels with a draught of 15 metres can also reach the Botlek port.
The initiation of the project took place in FutureLand, the information centre about the port of Rotterdam on the Maasvlakte. There, an exhibition will also be inaugurated today on this sizeable project, which represents an important improvement for the accessibility of the Botlek and the competitive position of the port of Rotterdam.
The Nieuwe Waterweg, the canal between Rotterdam and the North Sea, was opened in 1872 and forms the basis of the development of Rotterdam as the most important port in Europe. 
The waterway will be deepened over a length of 25 kilometres. From Hoek van Holland to the Benelux tunnel, including the connecting Botlek port. It is a necessary step which will improve accessibility to the Botlek ports. 
The deepening process will take approximately six months. It will be carried out by Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Maassluis to the Benelux Tunnel and the Botlek) and Van der Kamp B.V. (from the Nieuwe Waterweg Maassluis to Hoek van Holland).
“The deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Botlek is an investment in the accessibility of the Rotterdam Mainport. We are opening the door further, which will quickly give the port of Rotterdam the space for the ever larger sea-going vessels. The deepening of the waterway will ensure a better competitive position for companies in the Botlek area”, according to the minister. 
Medium-sized tankers and dry bulk carriers are getting bigger. The deepening will allow the so-called New Panamax and Aframax ships to navigate the Nieuwe Waterweg without any restrictions. 
“If larger tankers can enter the Botlek port, it will reinforce the business case for investments in capacity expansion. Larger ships translate into more cargo, more cargo handling and a better utilisation of storage tanks. Currently, one large vessel can enter with every tide. Soon – in favourable circumstances – this will be three large vessels. That is a big step forward”, says Ronald Paul, COO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Rijkswaterstaat will deepen the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Port of Rotterdam Authority will deepen the Botlek.
The Nieuwe Waterweg was constructed in 1872 under the direction of civil engineer Pieter Caland and forms the final section that connects Rotterdam with the sea. 

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