The ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam are home to two of the largest industrial clusters in Europe, and pipelines are of vital importance for the companies operating there. One year ago the respective port authorities announced that they would collaborate in studying the possibilities of further developing pipeline connections between the two ports. Since then they have mapped out a route and drawn up a joint cost estimate for building a set of pipelines running in parallel. In the near future the port authorities will use these results to draw up a joint business proposal for submission to potential investors and users in their respective ports.
A study has been carried out for a group of four pipelines to carry oil products, chemicals, industrial gases and carbon dioxide respectively. The proposed route runs 130 km from the centre of the port in Antwerp to the Maasvlakte area of the port of Rotterdam. Part of this route will follow the existing 75 km pipeline corridor that runs through Brabant, Moerdijk and the South Netherlands islands. The corridor already carries various pipelines with a total length of around 1,400 km. Within the ports themselves there are pipelines between the various companies totalling a similar number of kilometres. A new bundle of pipelines would support the further development of the industrial clusters in both ports and encourage the transport of materials by the most environment-friendly mode of all. Pipeline systems are a safe, sustainable alternative to transport by road, rail or barge. They also offer greater accessibility and flexibility, ensuring that the port and industrial complexes of Antwerp and Rotterdam will be able to develop further.
Potential investors and users in both ports will receive joint business proposals in the next few months. If any of them show interest in developing pipeline infrastructure between the ports and if there is a clear win-win for both port communities, then a detailed plan for construction of the pipeline bundle can be developed jointly with investors and other market players later this year.