Friday, June 14, 2024
HomeBusinessLast port of call for auto freighter – DW – 08/04/2023

Last port of call for auto freighter – DW – 08/04/2023


A harbor is a place along a navigable river or a seacoast where ships can dock. It provides facilities to unload or load cargo and transport people. It also requires a functional transportation infrastructure and a town or a smaller settlement for connections to the hinterland.

This also applies to Eemshaven, with the only difference being that there is no town close by as the port serves purely commercial purposes. With its power generation facilities, including offshore and onshore wind installations and solar plants, it plays a significant role in the energy supply of the Netherlands.

Onlookers watch as a tugboat tows the Fremantle Highway cargo ship
The burnt wreck of the Fremantle Highway has arrived at the Dutch port of EemshavenImage: Peter Dejong/AP/picture alliance

Sea ferry connections are the only passenger services the port offers. People can travel from there to the German North Sea island of Borkum and to Kristiansand in Norway.

A brief history of Eemshaven port

Eemshaven has existed since the early 1970s and has been continuously expanded since then. It was built on a reclaimed and artificially embanked piece of seabed known as a “polder.” The port belongs to the municipality of Het Hogeland in the province of Groningen, which is the largest municipality in the Netherlands in terms of area but has a population of only 48,000.

The name of the port is derived from its location on the North Sea estuary of the German river Ems, which is called Eems in the Dutch language. A sea bay, the so-called Dollart, opens up the Ems river to the North Sea and forms part of Germany’s border with the Netherlands.

The shores of the bay are strictly preserved under Dutch and German nature conservation regulations. On the German side, the area is also a bird protection zone that belongs to the famous reserve of the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park. Since an unsuccessful drilling effort for natural gas in the 1960s, the Dollart enjoys the highest level of nature protection possible within the EU.

Salvage operation with utmost caution

Despite its precious surroundings, Eemshaven is a perfect safe haven for the fire-ravaged Fremantle Highway. Water depths of up to 15.5 meters (50 feet) allow for large seagoing vessels to moor at the port’s quays, giving firefighters a better chance to extinguish the fire on board.

Moreover, docking at the quay makes it possible to offload and dispose of the thousands of burned out cars later on. If the ship were to break apart or sink during the operation, the wreck wouldn’t sink too deep for salvaging. An oil spill from the wreckage can also be better contained due to the absence of sea waves, effectively protecting the Wadden Sea reserve area.

As Eemshaven is solely an industrial port, the risk of an accident causing civilian casualties is also unlikely. Nevertheless, local authorities and private companies are keeping sufficient numbers of firefighters and equipment ready for any emergencies.

Eemshaven the energy port

Eemshaven is jokingly but aptly referred to as “Holland’s power outlet.” It’s surrounded by wind turbines, power plants and their cooling towers.

At the port, you can also find the converter station for the 580-kilometer (360-mile) NorNed sea cable that connects the Norwegian and Dutch power grids.

Belgian energy company Engie Electrabel operates its ultramodern Eemscentrale power plant there, while Dutch company Nuon has been generating electricity at the port since 2013 with its Magnum power plant. Also, German energy giant RWE is present at the site, operating a coal-fired power plant. A plan to build a nuclear plant at Eemshaven was abandoned in December 2022 due to concerns about the technology raised by the Dutch Ministry of Climate and Energy.

Wind power is also in no short supply at Eemshaven port, where windfarm Westereems and other installations have been generating electricity for about 30 years. Over time, the port has become a hub of wind power services and maintenance firms that also use it for transportation and storage.

Eemshaven port has been involved in the construction of 16 offshore wind parks in the North Sea and elsewhere. Altogether 300 turbines are overseen and maintained from here. And finally, passenger sea travel is also benefiting from the port: Here, German cruise ship builder Meyer Werft (Meyer Shipyards) equips its vessels with all the mod cons needed in the growing industry today.

This article was originally written in German.

Do e-vehicles have a fire problem?

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video


Source link



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments