New container terminal in prospect in Waalwijk
Within a few years Waalwijk is likely to have a new container terminal, to replace the existing ROC Waalwijk terminal. The new site must be accessible to the largest types of inland vessels and will have a quay length of three hundred metres. The municipal council is meeting this evening to decide on the plans.
Discussions have been going on for many years in Waalwijk, Noord-Brabant, about a new dock, including a new container terminal. The existing terminal is above a lock, making it inaccessible for larger vessels. The new facility will be below the lock on the river side and so will solve that particular problem. The terminal forms part of a larger plan which will include an expansion of the adjacent industrial zone.
For various reasons, earlier attempts by the municipality to invite tenders came to nothing, but indications are that a new attempt will be successful. Various companies have recently submitted plans. Ultimately the municipal council's preferred option is the joint proposal by Mourik Infra and Firma Liebregts. The project is estimated to cost around 24.2 million euros. If everything goes to plan, construction work can start before the end of the year. The aim is to have the terminal operational in the spring of 2021.
The operator of the terminal will be ROC Waalwijk BV, which is also the operator of the existing terminal that will close after a transitional period. ‘The throughput capacity of the new terminal will initially be only slightly greater than that of the existing terminal’, says director John van der Linden of ROC Waalwijk BV.
‘Our current ceiling is at around 50,000 to 55,000 TEU. The new terminal will have twice as much stacking space, but we will begin with just one gantry crane. However, since we will have three hundred metres of quay we can build the craneway along its entire length, and if demand increases we can scale up by installing an extra crane. This will ultimately enable us to increase the volume of goods transshipped by roughly a factor of 2.5 if necessary.’ The terminal will not have a rail link, nor will bulk cargo be transshipped.
The municipal council will reach its decision on the plans this evening. Councillor Ronald Bakker proposes reserving a sum of 29.5 million euros for the project, which includes a buffer of more than 5 million for unforeseen circumstances. The province of Noord-Brabant is contributing 7.2 million. The council is expected to approve the proposal, the discussions of which have been brought forward as the council would like the contractor to be able to start construction before the winter.