Port Expansion in Cuxhaven Approved
The closing of the gap between the Europa Quay and the Offshore Base Port is now approved.
Niedersachsen’s Agency for Water Management, Coastal Protection, and Nature Conservation (NLWKN) has decided: The closing of the gap between the Europa Quay and the Offshore Base Port is now approved. The port company Niedersachsen Ports (NPorts) is receiving the plan approval notice from the competent authority.
Oldenburg | Cuxhaven March 5, 2020
For the past 12 months, an explanatory report of some 100 pages, sketches and technical drawings, technical contributions, and expert opinions had to undergo the intense scrutiny of the NLWKN. Earlier today in Cuxhaven, Olaf Lies, Niedersachsen's State Minister for Environment, Energy, Building, and Climate Protection, presented Bernd Althusmann, Chairman of the supervisory board of NPorts and Niedersachsen's State Minister for Economics, Labor, Transport, and Digitization, with the decision.
"I am pleased about the quick execution of this complex procedure. This will make Cuxhaven a stronger business location, while addressing the environmental concerns through various compensation areas within the Elbe-Oste region. This goes to show once again that business developments and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand and don't have to contradict one another" explains Niedersachsen's State Minister for Environment, Energy, Building, and Climate Protection during the presentation of the plan approval notice at Castle Ritzebüttel.
With the application for expansion, the port company NPorts is addressing the demand for additional cargo handling capacities within the Sea Port of Cuxhaven. At the Europa Quay, not only berths 1 through 3 are already at capacity. In 2018, as part of the expansion efforts, berth 4 was put into operation. And even this new berth will be at capacity within the foreseeable future. Therefore, it is planned to create additional cargo handling space between the Europa Quay and the Offshore Base.
“The continuously increasing amount of cargo makes one thing clear: With its favorable geographic setting, situated strategically at the mouth of the River Elbe, the Port of Cuxhaven is the ideal place for cargo handling and logistics. Closing the gap between the Europa Quay and the Offshore Base represents an important investment in the future of the Port of Cuxhaven, thus creating an even larger cargo handling area and more economic growth. This also ensures that existing industrial and commercial settlements can be secured and that the site Cuxhaven is strengthened” emphasizes Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Niedersachsen's State Minister for Economics, Labor, Transport, and Digitization.
The total length of the quay walls for the planned berths 5 through 7 will be 1257 meters (~4125 ft). The area behind the quay walls is slated to total some 28 hectares (~70 acres). Once the closure of the gap is complete, the total connected length of the berths on the river, from berth 1 to berth 9, would amount to some 3.6 kilometers (~2.25 miles) all told.
"A thorough, but swift approval procedure for this gap closure ensures planning dependability for us. We look forward to getting a head start and initiating the next steps to get the construction underway" explains Holger Banik, Managing Director of Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG and JadeWeserPort Realisierungs GmbH & Co. KG.
First, the decision will be published, before becoming legally binding six weeks later. The operation of the new terminal is awarded following a mandatory Europe-wide public procurement procedure and, in addition, it must undergo an EU notification procedure. Only then, the actual construction can begin.
In preparation of the planning approval procedure, NPorts has procured a number of different expert opinions, such as: A static survey report, a simulated study regarding ship maneuvers, examinations of the construction subsoil. In other expert opinions, any potential effects upon the environment are front and center. There is, for example, an environmental impact study, a complementary landscape conservation plan, and an ornithological expert opinion. The scheduled construction constitutes an intervention in the landscape and the environment. In order to create a balance, the port company has acquired commensurate compensation areas. The total size for these areas is 65 hectares (~160 acres). Overall, Niedersachsen Ports owns some 857 hectares (~2120 acres) in compensation areas.
Photo: NPorts/Andreas Burmann
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