New German terminal ups port potential
A new deepwater berth and multi-purpose terminal have begun operation in Cuxhaven amid predictions they will significantly boost business in the German Elbe Estuary port, writes Tom Todd.
Operators Cuxport, a joint venture of Rhenus and HHLA in Hamburg, will run the €36 million facility. The just inaugurated 240m long Berth 4 can handle ships drawing up to 14.3m. Along with the adjacent existing 1,600 m2 heavy load platform, a total 290m are available, all of it backing onto a multi-purpose terminal covering 8.5 hectares.
Holger Banik, Managing Director of Niedersachsen Ports (NPorts), which operates the port of Cuxhaven, said the new facility will provide more handling space and “further enhance the competitiveness of the seaport and strengthen the profile of Cuxhaven as a port location”.
The port already plays a major role in the North Sea offshore sector and that business is expected to play a dominant role in future handling at the new terminal.
However Cuxport Managing Director Hans-Peter Zint pointed to his firm’s multi-purpose strategy. “Our terminal areas can be used for the handling of many different types of goods”, he said. “We’ll be continuing this approach with Berth 4, which can handle heavy goods as well as breakbulk or rolling cargo.”
Up to 320,000 German vehicles are exported via Cuxhaven every year and the port also ships steel, paper, building materials, timber and project loads delivered by rail.
It has taken two years to build Berth 4, where four heavy-duty blocks, each capable of carrying 20 tons per m2, have been installed. More than a million m3 of sand from the Lower Elbe were used to increase the height of the terminal site. .
The terminal and berth have been in use for several months prior to the official inauguration in autumn. The 156m long project load carrier Happy Star was the first ship to tie up there in July. Since then, the terminal has served as a storage and transshipment location for mono-piles and transition pieces for the offffshore wind farm Deutsche Bucht. In addition to regular transhipments. Further projects are already planned.
Berth 4 meanwhile is just part of continuing expansion in Cuxhaven.Three further berths of total 1,195m frontage are now planned to increase port capacity and competitiveness even further.
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