New service quay for barges in the port of Antwerp

The service quay in Kallo is the third such service point for barges in the port of Antwerp, following those in Lillo (opened in 2013) and at quay 75 (opened in 2011)

New service quay for barges in the port of Antwerp

Barge operators in the port of Antwerp can now make use of a brand new service quay in Kallo, on the Left bank of the Scheldt. The quay, which was officially opened last Thursday, includes a waste collection park, a drinking water point and a long-term car park.

“Investing in services for barges means investing in a sustainable future for our port,” declares port alderman Marc Van Peel at the opening. “At present 38% of containers are carried by barge, but this percentage will have to increase in the next few years. Investing in the necessary infrastructure for barge transport is an important part of this ambition,” he concluded.

The park on quay 1550 replaces the old service park at 1103. The move to the new location has also made it possible to provide additional holding berths for “blue cone” barges (which carry dangerous goods). The new quay is equipped with a sustainable building which among other things has ground heat exchangers and a grass roof. The waste collection point has been expanded with a view to more selective collection so that more waste can be recycled. 

The construction work on the service quay in Kallo was carried out between October 2016 and July 2017, with the Port Authority investing a total of EUR 2.4 million in the new facility.

Barge operators not only require well-equipped service quays, they also need holding berths where they can moor for a rest or while they are waiting for the next job. The increasing volume of barge freight in the past few years has also led to a greater demand for holding berths. “The barge industry is an important partner for the growth of our port, and so in the coming years we will make the resources available to provide them with the necessary facilities,” said Van Peel. 

In practical terms the Groenendijk holding berths have been renovated, and additional holding berths have been created at Reigersbos, Noordlandbrug and Ketelplaat. The work at Groenendijk has already been carried out (June 2016 – June 2017), with EUR 900,000 being spent on full renovation of the existing holding berths and three new gangways being build between the dolphins (mooring pillars) and the side of the Marshall dock, among other things. At Reigersbos work will start in the second quarter of 2018 on construction of 18 berths for barges. In this case the investment by the Port Authority is estimated at EUR 1.9 million.

Meanwhile the Flemish government will start work next year on construction of new holding berths at Ketelplaat (at the Boudewijn and Van Cauwelaert lock complexes). Finally, Vlaamse Waterweg (inland waterway operator) is to build a holding dock at the Noordland bridge where blue cone barges can also moor. The total cost of this dock, estimated at 16 million euros, will be borne by the Port Authority together with Vlaamse Waterweg under the terms of an agreement recently made between these two parties.