Rotterdam’s Heavy Storage Investment
Rotterdam is making major investments designed to improve its attractiveness to breakbulk, heavy-lift and project cargoes.
Hugo du Mez, advisor for dry bulk and breakbulk at the port, explained that heavy-lift and project cargo is of great importance to Rotterdam.
“We have large industries in our hinterland focusing on supplying heavy pieces which need be stored for long or short time periods,” du Mez said. “We have indoor warehousing, fixed-temperature storage and top-class security, and we have one facility where we can store cargo weighing up to 700 tons in a warehouse. We have the facilities for loading and off-loading through floating cranes available, including up to 1,800 tons, and we have the lashing and securing expertise so there is no need to use other ports.”
The bulk of Rotterdam’s project handling is for export, in particular generators, transformers and one-off project items produced by the oil and gas, construction, offshore and heavy machinery sectors in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.
While much of this cargo tends towards the heavy end of the project/breakbulk spectrum, du Mez said the port authority was also trying to attract smaller, but still rather large, cargoes. “Anything between around 80 tonnes and 250-300 tonnes is the area we’re looking for,” he added.
Rotterdam is developing a new terminal complex targeting a range of project and heavy-lift cargoes, which will be located on 70 hectares of reclaimed next to existing offshore operations managed by the SIF Group. “In recent years, we have found that the oil and gas industry and other sectors were looking for better locations for mobilization and demobilization for projects, and the current facilities weren’t big enough or capable of handling multiple vessels at the same time,” du Mez said.
“At the same time, we see new developments coming up for the offshore wind industry which require more space. And for future decommissioning projects we’d like to be one of the locations where platforms and underwater infrastructure can be decommissioned here on land.”
Offshore Center Rotterdam is expected to address these requirements. It will provide 1,600 meters of heavy-lift berthage, with around 25 hectares of the Maasvlakte 2 development set to come on stream next year to be used in the manufacture and storage of windfarm components and other specialist cargoes.
Photo credit: Port of Rotterdam
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