Barge quay improvements at Antwerp
Barge operators not only require well-equipped service quays, they also need holding berths where they can moor for a rest or while they are waiting for the next job. The increasing volume of barge freight in the port of Antwerp over the past few years has led to a greater demand for holding berths.
"The barge industry is an important partner for the growth of our port, and so in the coming years we will make the resources available to provide them with the necessary facilities," said port Alderman Marc Van Peel.
Recently completed at the port is a new service quay in Kallo, on the left bank of the Scheldt. The quay includes a waste collection park, a water point and a long-term car park. The service quay in Kallo is the third such service point for barges in the port of Antwerp, following those in Lillo and at Quay 75. "Investing in services for barges means investing in a sustainable future for our port," declared Van Peel. "At present 38% of containers are carried by barge, but this percentage will to increase in the next few years.
The park on quay Kallo replaces the old service park at 1103. The move to the new location has also made it possible to provide additional holding berths for "blue cone" barges which carry dangerous goods. The new quay is equipped with a sustainable building which among other things has ground heat exchangers and a grass roof. The waste collection point has been expanded with a view to more selective collection so that more waste can be recycled. The construction work on the service quay in Kallo was completed last year following an investment of €2.4 million.
Additionally the Groenendijk holding berths have been renovated and additional holding berths have been created at Reigersbos, Noordlandbrug and Ketelplaat. The work at Groenendijk was completed last year with €900,000 being spent on full renovation of the existing holding berths with three new gangways being built between the dolphins and the side of the Marshall dock. At Reigersbos work will start in the second quarter of 2018 on construction of 18 berths for barges and this development work is costed at an estimated at €1.9 million. Meanwhile the Flemish government will start work next year on the construction of new holding berths at Ketelplaat.
Finally, Vlaamse Waterweg, an inland waterway operator, is to build a holding dock at the Noordland Bridge where blue cone barges can also moor. The total cost of this dock, estimated at €16 million, will be borne jointly by the Port Authority and Vlaamse Waterweg.
By Dag Pike
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