Lock and berth projects approved for Emden port

Emspier and Emskai, soon to be united Emspier and Emskai, soon to be united
Industry Database

German authorities have decided to renovate rather than rebuild the North Sea port of Emden’s giant sea lock and have also approved construction there of a new berth for big ships, writes Tom Todd.

Lower Saxony Ports (NPorts), which runs Emden, said a building survey had shown that a complete rebuilding of the 360m x 40m Grosse Seeschleuse was “not necessary”.

NPorts’ head Holger Banik reported that renovation costing “a high double digit figure in the millions” – German burocratic speak for a sum approaching but less than €100 million - would guarantee the smooth running and operational safety of the more than 100 year-old facility for the next 25 years. He said that was far less than than completely rebuilding the lock – which estimates say would cost some €350-400 million.
Work will now get underway in 2021 and be carried out while the lock continues to operate normally. Bank said the project was expected to be completed by about 2029.

Along with the Grosse Seeschleuse renovation has come more good news for Emden in the form of approval for building a new berth, quayside and expanded terminal in the port’s outer harbour.

The approval came from the government’s NLWKN agency which is responsible for coastal and marine protection, measurement and monitoring as well as flood control and river and state-owned port management along the German Baltic and North Sea coasts and in local mudflats.

The plan is to fill the gap between the Emspier and the Emskai in Emden’s Outer Harbour directly on the tidal Ems Estuary to create an 860m long large ship berth and quayside as well as an adjacent 22,600 m2 terminal handling area. The new berth will be able to handle ships drawing up to10.7m and of 265m length.

The new facility will take about two years to build and cost an estimated €55 million. It will strengthen handling clout in Emden, which expects its project load and vehicle handling business to increase over the coming years. Emden is already one of Europe’s busiest RoRo ports and is also active in the offshore and onshore wind energy sectors, hosting component manufacture, assembly and shipping facilities as well as transport and maintenance bases for many wind farms in the nearby German Bight.

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