In the coming years Tauw will be performing sediment assessments for the Port of Rotterdam as part of a framework contract. ‘The expectation is that in the next few years many sediment assessments will be required,’ Tauw contract manager Remco Pikaar states. ‘In the near future, the ports of Rotterdam and the sea ports of Dordrecht and Vlaardingen must be accessible for increasingly large vessels with deeper draughts.
Pikaar: ‘Take, for example, the arrival of the world’s largest container ship, the CSCL Globe, or of the Pioneering Spirit, the world’s largest single-lift vessel that can, among other things, transport oil rig constructions in one piece. Both vessels have never been to Rotterdam before. That is why the Rotterdam Port Authority is investing in revitalising existing port areas over the next few years.’
A major priority is accessibility for port-related businesses, such as in the ‘Nieuwe Waterweg and Botlekhaven Deepening’ project. This deepening is essential for the Botlek port area, where 50 million tonnes of cargo are transferred annually. In future the port must be able to accommodate Aframax-class vessels (with a draught of 15 metres). In deepening the Nieuwe Waterweg, approximately 5.5 to 7 million cubic metres of sediment will be dug up.
‘In this project Tauw is performing very large-scale sediment assessments,’ says Tauw project advisor Saskia Buijs. ‘Nautical dredging activities require a different approach than regular sediment assessment. Here coordination between policy, the envisaged disposal (with various competent authorities) and the translation into practical implementation plays a crucial role. Other factors also play a role in the port area, such as extreme weather conditions, tidal effects, busy shipping traffic and large ships, and the potential presence of undetonated explosives.’
Another project for which we are performing sediment assessments is the establishment of several ship-to-ship transfers in the port area. Establishing a total of 24 ship-to-ship transfers will reduce both mooring times of vessels and the burden on the environment at the quays.
“Even for the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the scope of the sediment assessment is exceptional.”
Edwin Hupkes - Senior Project Developer, Port of Rotterdam Authority