ESPO visits the Belgian Port introducing its new projects for the coming years
Under the motto “Large enough to cope, small enough to care“, the Port of Ghent has survived the economic crisis pretty well. The port is working on different projects, so reasons enough to learn more about this Belgian port. ESPO visits the Port of Ghent and learns about its vision and strategic objectives for the coming years regarding a more efficient inland navigation.
The port of Ghent is a middle sized seaport in Belgium with 26 million tonnes of seaborne cargo and 22 million tonnes of inland navigation traffic. It is specialised in dry and liquid bulk (grain, vegetable oils, building materials, coal & iron ore, petroleum products, wood pellets, biofuels…). Furthermore, the port is a centre for production and logistics located close to the consumer markets (automotive, paper industry, bio-energy, ro/ro and containers). It is accessible via the Western Scheldt and the Terneuzen lock (Panamax type). Its inland location is one of its assets when looking at the connection with the hinterland: France, the Netherlands and Germany. The new Kluizendock is surrounded by 660 hectares, which is available for mainly distribution and logistics.
Port’s mission is to create prosperity and growth in a sustainable way by further developing the seaport into a multimodal logistics platform. Attracting more regular liner shipping and developing the inland navigation container segment are some of our priorities, together with the further accommodation of the existing industries and logistic sector. The front door’ project, the construction of a new sea lock of the New Panamax type’ in Terneuzen is extremely important for the competitiveness of our existing industries. In order to attract liner shipping, the existence of a second sea lock provides more certainty. The building of the lock will start in 2017 and will costs 930 million Euros. It will be financed by Flanders (the largest part), the Netherlands and the Port of Ghent. The lock will be finalised by 2021.
In December last year, the new TEN-T policy framework was finalised. For the port of Ghent it was a challenge to be included as a core port in the core network corridors. This gives the opportunity to succeed in implementing its strategic plan and our mission. The port is working on the set up of container barge services with the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge and we have a regular train service to Mortara in Italy. All these destinations are on the North Sea-Med and Rhine-Alpine corridors. During the penultimate TEN-T call, the port of Ghent submitted a project on inland navigation infrastructure (6 smaller infrastructures) and was selected.
Learn more about the Belgian Port at ESPO’s website