Wilhelmshaven harbour project underway

First piles driven in Wilhelmshaven First piles driven in Wilhelmshaven
Industry Database

First phase construction has begun on a project to deepen and modernise the Alter Vorhafen in Wilhelmshaven, reports Tom Todd.

The Alter Vorhafen is in Wilhelmshaven’s deep-water outer port area on the Jade Delta and used to be part of the main access to Germany’s third largest port. It is now used for island ferry traffic to Helgoland and for port excursions, but when pile-driving in the Alter Vorhafen began this year, Lower Saxony Economics Minister Bernd Althusmann tipped a bigger role for the facility in future.

He said the ports in the coastal north German federal state needed secure and efficient handling infrastructures and that a modernised Alter Vorhafen would help meet those demands. He also drew attention to the important handling possibilities in the Alter Vorhafen for coastal protection and sea rescue operations.

The work on the modernisation of the harbour includes initial deepening of the harbour basin from 4m to 6.7m, the demolition of old structures on the Helgolandkai south side and renovation work on the Wangeroogkai north side of the Alter Vorhafen.

The Helgolandkai has been only minimally used in recent years because of its condition and this year’s initial work will “comprehensively remedy that” at a cost of €5 million up to December, officials declared.

A new wave barrier sheet pile wall is being driven, anchored and back-filled in front of the existing sheet pile wall of about 100m in length. The quayside head will also be built by the end of the year along with steps, railings, access ladders, bollards and berthing and mooring dolphins.

Work on the renovation of the Wangeroogkai opposite is expected to begin before completion of the work on the Helgolandkai side, the officials added. Contractors are the Ludwig Freytag/TAGU Tiefbau group of companies.

Wilhelmshaven Port Manager Mathias Lüdicke said the entire Alter Hafen project including the work on both the Helgolandkai and Wangeroogkai would last about two and a half years. It is reportedly costing a total of about €10 million.

Niedersachsen Ports (NPorts) owns and operates the port of Wilhelmshaven as well as four other seaports, seven island supply ports and three regional ports on the German North Sea coast. It is Germany’s largest public seaports operator.

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