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From plan to execution

Construction in full swing

After several years of careful preparation, the construction of Maasvlakte 2 has been in full swing since 1 September 2008. Maasvlakte 2 is the western expansion of the Rotterdam port area in the North Sea. A total surface area of 2,000 hectares will be created by spraying on sand off the coast. This sand will mainly come from sand extraction sites in the North Sea. The remaining sand will be freed up during the cutting through of the Yangtzehaven, which will soon provide access to Maasvlakte 2 via the existing Maasvlakte.  A further volume of sand will become available when the new port basins are dredged and other projects are realised in the port area. This not only saves money, it also benefits the environment.

Until 2013

The construction is proceeding as planned. Project and budget are consequently on schedule. After the contours of Maasvlakte 2 started to take shape, work started on the preparations for the construction of the hard seawall. By now, the contractors are also building the quay walls and realising new infrastructure. The construction of Maasvlakte 2 will take place in phases. The first phase is geared towards 2013. In that year, the first sites will be made available to the first terminal operator.

Between 2013 and 2030
Once the first phase is finished, successive sites will be gradually realised in the period until 2030. The pace at which this takes place will be effectively determined by the demand for new port sites. The phased realisation of the port expansion will prevent sites from remaining undeveloped because no clients have been found for them yet. Clients have already been contracted for each of the sites realised in the first phase. The granting procedures had been rounded off even before work started on the sites.


In 2008, after an international tender procedure, the building consortium PUMA (Projectorganisatie Uitbreiding Maasvlakte) landed the contract for the construction of the first phase. PUMA is a joint venture of the dredging companies Boskalis and Van Oord. To jointly add a piece of new land to the Netherlands, the two have bundled their knowledge and capacity. All in all, this first phase involves 700 hectares of new port area. Of this, 400 hectares can be made available to clients, with the remaining hectares required for the seawall and the infrastructure. After completing the first phase in 2013, PUMA will remain responsible for the maintenance of the seawall for another five years. This too is covered by the contract.

Maasvlakte 2 in figures

The total investment involved in the construction of Maasvlakte 2 is EUR 2.9 billion (2007 price level). For this amount, the Port of Rotterdam Authority is constructing the following elements at its own expense and risk:

  • A new piece of land
  • Seawall
  • Basic infrastructure, such as quays, rail track and roads

The contract for the first phase until 2013 covers:

  • 7.5 km of soft seawall (beach and dunes). Required volume of sand: 240 million m³:
     > 200 million m³ from the sand extraction area in the North Sea
     > 40 million m³ from existing land (the deepening of the port basin, the Yangtzehaven cut-through, etc.)
  • 3.5 km of hard seawall constructed from rocks and concrete blocks:
     > 20,000 concrete blocks, each weighing 43,000 kg
     > 7 million tonnes of quarrystone, of which 2 million tonnes come from the existing seawall and 5 million tonnes come from quarries in Scandinavia and Northern Europe
  • 3.5 km deep sea quay (depth: 20 m)
     > 1.2 metres thick concrete
     > To a maximum of 40 m below the quay
  • 2 x 500 metres inland shipping quay (depth: 11 to 13 m)
  • 13 km of roads (dual carriageway, secondary roads)
  • 14 km of rail track (double track)
  • 400 hectares of allocatable sites