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Groundbreaking technology increases sustainability of the new port area

With Maasvlakte 2, the Port Authority aims to create one of the most sustainable ports in the world. To realise this ambition, it has freed the way for a range of innovative technical approaches that promote the sustainable and economically successful development of the new port and industrial area.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has a long history of implementing pioneering technologies and processes. Numerous examples can be found in the existing port, such as the Euromax Terminal and the innovative communications system Portbase. But for Maasvlakte 2, it has raised the bar even further: the new port and industrial area needs to become the most sustainable and innovative port in the world. This is by no means an unrealistic ambition for a port that will be built up from scratch, so that sustainability and innovations can be incorporated in every component. And for the companies who will be setting up here - world-class players all - attention to sustainability is presently a vital condition for their operations.

The design

Besides a perfectly streamlined outer contour, another unique feature of Maasvlakte 2 is the progressive design of the port's interior. Maasvlakte 2 will gain wide fairways that will accommodate all the port activities. As no separate navigation channels are required, there will be more space for activity. This allows Maasvlakte 2 to grant just as many sites as a traditional port design, but occupying less surface area.

The first clients

The Port Authority has taken a unique approach to the acquisition of clients for Maasvlakte 2. Interested parties could bid for the first plots of land to be completed via an international tender procedure. In this procedure, the Port Authority made substantial demands in the area of sustainability. This met with a positive response: companies were happy to work together with the Port Authority on sustainable solutions and have a lot of innovative ideas for cleaner and more sustainable operations.

Pipeline/cable tunnel under Yangtzehaven

One example of the use of new technologies is the way in which a number of pipeline/cable tunnels were dug under the existing Yangtzehaven. A total of seven directed borings, with a length of some 1,200 m and a maximum depth of -40 m New Amsterdam Water Level (NAP), will ensure that the sites to the north of the Yangtzehaven can also be provided with gas, water, electricity and telecommunications after this port basin has been cut through.

Innovative contractor

The contractor PUMA has incorporated a large number of innovative solutions in its design, to minimise both the project's cost of construction and its environmental impact. One example of this approach is the reuse of the rocks of the block dam near Slag Dobbelsteen on the existing Maasvlakte in the new hard seawall.


Maasvlakte 2 offers space and opportunities for innovative forms of energy conservation that will contribute to the efficient and sustainable energy management of the new port and industrial area. Furthermore, investments in this area will ensure that the port can maintain a leading position in the global economy after the end of the oil era. In this context, the Port Authority also encourages the use of wind energy, the reuse of industrial residual heat and the generation of green electricity.

Collapsible container?

The Port Authority is on the constant lookout for innovative ideas. To this end, it works together with universities and commercial partners, among others, to explore and elaborate new (technological) opportunities. For example, the Port Authority's research department is collaborating with container transfer company APM Terminals on the development of a sustainable terminal. And together with Delft University of Technology, the Port Authority is examining whether it is possible to make containers that collapse - like a shopping crate. According to Delft University of Technology, this is possible, which is why the Port Authority has now commissioned a number of companies to develop prototypes that can be tested in practice.