Extra Container capacity Antwerp (ECA)

With the 'Extra Container capacity Antwerp' (ECA) project, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, The Scheldt Left Bank Corporation and the Flemish government give substance to the sustainable development and efficient use of the port area. In addition, we are accelerating the greening of the entire container sector. That way, as a world port, we guarantee the provisioning of our country and the prosperity of current and future generations. 

The need for extra container capacity in Antwerp

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is Belgium's most important economic engine. Container traffic plays a key role in this regard. Containers keep our society and economy going. They provide our supplies, allow our companies to flourish and distribute our Belgian products on international markets. Year after year, the market share of container traffic in Antwerp continues to grow.

In 2005, a container ship had an average capacity of 10,000 TEU. Today, the port receives ships carrying more than 20,000 TEU every week. The increasing use of containers for goods transport will continue. In order to continue receiving the growing number of containers and ships of this type, there is a need for high-performance infrastructure.

Antwerp_Gateway_DP_World_2019 (20)

Additional container capacity is needed in order to retain the trust of investors and secure local business. Sustainable growth is essential  to secure Antwerp's position as a hub in the global market. In order to maintain this competitive position, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is investing in more and better container capacity. With ECA, Port of Antwerp-Bruges will ensure sustainable growth and the prosperity of current and future generations.

Sustainable growth that reconciles the economy, people and climate

With new hyper-efficient terminals, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is building the port infrastructure of the future. Through research and participation, the aim is to develop a smarter project that strikes a balance between the economic needs and the concerns of the environment. Consideration for our environment and climate is the touchstone for everything we do. Port of Antwerp fully supports the European and Flemish climate ambitions, and aims to be climate neutral by 2050.

Optimisation of existing and future space

Various alternatives were considered in the search for the most suitable location for extra container capacity in Antwerp. The Flemish Government approved the location of the extra capacity in a preferential decision. This decision is the result of consultation with all stakeholders involved.

The extra capacity will not only be provided by the expansion of a new tidal dock, but also by the development of land within the existing port area. In this way, ECA makes optimal use of the existing and future space. ECA ensures that Port of Antwerp-Bruges will have an extra container capacity of 7.2 million TEU at its disposal.

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Growth in harmony with the surrounding environment

The essential growth of the port requires solutions to limit nuisance for the surrounding area. Port activities have an impact on the wider environment - beneficial, but sometimes also disruptive - on both sides of the Scheldt and in the rest of Flanders.

Through dialogue and transparent communication, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is turning the concerns of the neighbourhood into concrete improvement projects. We tackle noise pollution by installing noise buffers. The greening of container traffic and the construction and maintenance of nature reservers and bike lanes improve the quality of life for local residents. In Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe, nature, agriculture and the port go hand in hand.

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Innovative greening of container traffic

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a pioneer when it comes to making container traffic greener. By investing in the electrification of terminals, emission restrictions and the modal shift, we are accelerating the sustainability of shipping and logistics.

Towards zero emissions of nitrogen and greenhouse gases by 2050

Ships at berth use auxiliary engines to generate power. This consumption makes a significant contribution to the total emissions of nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases in the port. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is aiming to reduce emissions from ships in the port area to zero by 2050. We will achieve this by providing innovative solutions, such as shore power, as standard at the ECA terminals and rolling out this technology at existing terminals.

 

Thanks to shore power, moored ships can connect to the electricity grid and switch off their engines. In addition, the new terminals will also be virtually emission-free. As a pioneer, Port of Antwerp-Bruges helps other ports achieve more efficient and greener container traffic. 

Smart approach to container transport

As a logistical crossroads in Europe, Antwerp's road network has to handle a lot of traffic. ECA is fully committed to the modal split: more container transport via rail, inland navigation and night transport.

 

Transporting containers in an alternative way or at different times relieves Antwerp's road network and avoids traffic congestion. Finally, we are aiming to reduce emissions from trucks by investing in electrification and hydrogen projects for road transport. A pilot project for night transport and electric transport was launched in 2021.

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