The Port of Antwerp-Bruges and PSA Antwerp have given the official green light for the renewal of the quayside and terminal at Europa Terminal. The works, which will take about 9 years and be carried out in three phases, will ensure that the latest generation of container ships can continue to call at Antwerp. These renovations will also result in an efficient and sustainable terminal that contributes to the transition towards a climate-neutral port.
In order to remain a top-class world port, it must be able to offer its customers a well-functioning infrastructure and additional container capacity. Port of Antwerp-Bruges and PSA Antwerp are therefore investing in the renewal of the Europa Terminal. It was officially inaugurated in 1990 as the first tidal container terminal in Antwerp. With the renewal, which will cost EUR 335 million, Port of Antwerp-Bruges aims to strengthen its competitive position while taking steps towards becoming a sustainable port.
Works carried out in three phases to keep the terminal operational
The depth of vessels that can moor at the 1,200-metre quayside will be increased from 13.5 metres to 16 metres. Because ships must be able to continue to moor during the extensive works and in order to minimise operational impact, the port authorities are tackling the quayside in three major phases. In addition, they will create additional temporary moorings for inland navigation, so it can guarantee that its customers will receive a smooth service. The works will be spread over about 9 years and have been carefully plotted based on expected traffic.
Attention to climate and the environment
The renovation of the terminal will also contribute to the transition towards a climate-neutral port. Electrification and other optimisations will reduce CO2 emissions per container by 50% and wind turbines will increase the share of renewable energy.
The new quayside will be given a new orientation to ensure sufficient distance between passing ships and the terminal, and to protect the nearby Galgenschoor nature reserve. The works include in the final phase the construction of an underwater dam to provide additional protection for the nature reserve and ensure it does not subside.
During the entire process, all parties involved will take the necessary measures to minimise disruption, in close consultation with the surrounding area.
Following a tender process, the contract for the works was concluded with a temporary company of four contractors, Artes-Roegiers, Artes-Depret, Herbosch-Kiere and Boskalis, all with extensive experience in large-scale hydraulic engineering projects.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges, says, “With the modernisation of the Europa Terminal we are underlining our ambitions as a container port. As a world-class port, it is essential that we continue to play at the highest level and are able to accommodate the biggest ships. We are, however, aware of the impact of our activities on the surrounding area and local residents. That is why we are committed to reducing mooring emissions, among other things. With a new efficient and sustainable terminal, we are building the port infrastructure of the future.”
Annick De Ridder, Port Alderwoman of the City of Antwerp and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, comments, “Our port is the economic engine of Flanders. Interventions are needed to make it function optimally. With the deepening of the Europa Terminal from 13.5 to 16 metres, together with PSA Antwerp, we are ensuring that we can continue to receive the largest container ships. I look forward to the further progress of the works and an even brighter future for container handling in our port.”
Cameron Thorpe, CEO PSA Belgium, adds, “At PSA Belgium, we are delighted that construction works on the quayside are underway. This will allow us to start the transformation process of Europa Terminal with a highly sustainable investment while increasing capacity by more than 700K TEU annually. This reflects our confidence in the future of Port of Antwerp-Bruges and underlines the PSA Group’s commitment in Belgium.”
Jurgen De Wachter, General Manager at PSA Antwerp Container Business, says, “The development of the Europa Terminal will future-proof our operations and service levels, by reducing our carbon footprint by more than half, improving the safety of our people and meeting our customers’ increasing demand for mega-ship capacity.”
Artes-Roegiers, Artes-Depret, Herbosch-Kiere and Boskalis, comments, “We are very happy to undertake this project. It is a strategic project for the future of the port. It is technically complex and will be carried out in phases without too much disruption to container traffic. It will be a technical and operational feat, but one that we can handle thanks to our extensive expertise. Sound agreements have also been made about this with Port of Antwerp-Bruges and PSA.”