Germans plough €10 million into Brake Expansion
€10 million are being ploughed into the German North Sea port of Brake this year to keep it competitive, writes Tom Todd.
The investment is by Lower Saxony Ports (NPorts) - the federal operating company which owns and manages facilities in five leading German seaports, seven island supply facilities and three regional ports in the north German coastal state.
Handling in Brake in 2017 rose 10% and NPorts said the port had made “an important contribution to the economic viability of the region”. To enable continued growth and competitiveness, NPorts said it was investing about €6 million in new infrastructure in 2018 and also planned to plough about €4 million more into maintaining existing facilities.
NPorts invested about €82 million in port expansion and newbuilding in 2017 – a year in which all Lower Saxony’s ports together handled 53.4 million tons. Announcing this year’s plans for Brake, NPorts Managing Director Holger Banik said: “We are upgrading our ports as needed. In this, maintaining the efficiency of existing facilities is just as important as creating new ones”.
In the multi-functional Brake, some 26 kms inland on the Weser, concentration this year is on two main projects. One is the completion of new berthing for two big ships drawing up to11.9m along a 270m stretch of the Südpier. The other involves “substantial improvements” to the port’s hinterland rail connection. NPorts, Deutsche Bahn and the town of Brake are jointly building a new bridge on the Berliner Strasse to replace an existing rail crossing. About half of all the cargo entering or leaving the port uses this link.
Also being tackled this year is the renovation of the Nordpier. That was made necessary by an accident last November involving the cargo ship Mount Hope. Pilings along the pier at the sulphur-handling berth were bent and snapped and NPorts said the work was expected to cost €5 million.
“We want to restore this facility as soon as possible to guarantee continued smooth handling”, Banik stressed.
This year’s projects follow new superstructure and infrastructure developments in 2017, among them the acquisition of a powerful new Liebherr LH 150 M port material handling machine.
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