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Spring 2021 start date for transformation of Averijhaven depot into energy port

In April 2020 it was decided to develop the Averijhaven harbour near IJmuiden into an energy port. Amsterdam IJmuiden Offshore Ports (AYOP) has been involved in the development of this project in an advisory capacity since 2012 and the first concrete steps are now being taken. The Dutch government has commissioned Van Oord Nederland to start removing dredging sludge from the Averijhaven depot next spring.

Van Oord received the order from the Department of Waterways and Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) having submitted the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT). This type of selection procedure allows the contracting part to make the most of market creativity in terms of combining price and quality. The government also assessed the plans of the competing parties with regards to technique (the coordination between design and execution) and environmental management. The contract awarded to Van Oord Nederland covers a period of 1.5 years and is worth more than €18 million.

Averijhaven as depot
The Averijhaven harbour is currently being used as a storage depot for contaminated dredging sludge from the IJmond region. Some 850,000 cubic metres will now be removed and transferred to other government depots to create space for the realisation of the new port area. Preparatory activities are expected to begin in March 2021 and the work will take a year to complete.

Development into an energy port
Once the dredging sludge has been removed the next stages in creating a new energy port will commence. The terminal will serve as a key operational base for the installation and maintenance of the offshore wind parks that will be built in the coming years. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the province of North Holland, Velsen municipality, Tata Steel, Port of IJmuiden N.V. and Port of Amsterdam have already signed a covenant to this effect.

Hydraulic dredging
A special hydraulic dredging technique will be deployed to remove and transport the sludge from the Averijhaven. It involves a cutter suction dredger that will transfer the silt directly from the depot to a transport ship in a closed system. A discharge pipe will be laid from the depot over the dike, the stability of which will be constantly monitored by a measurement system. The vessels will then transport their cargo to the De Slufter depot near Rotterdam. This approach minimises both the number of transport movements and how often the pipes have to be connected/disconnected. Another option is to move a small part of the silt to the depot on the artificial island of IJsseloog.