The projects of the Province of Utrecht within CCP21 touch upon port development. All inland ports know how hard it is for them to grow and Utrecht aims at demonstrating that inland port growth, based on cooperation with other terminals and innovation, can benefit to the city and the whole region.
Recently Utrecht city council put into service its new electrically powered Multi Purpose Vessel appropriately named ECOBOOT. The Municipality of Utrecht already possesses one electric vessel, the Bierboot, which is used to ensure deliveries, mainly of restaurants and bars, in the city centre where it is not easy to drive with large trucks. After the Bierboot, this is their second electrically powered cargo vessel in a continuing effort to minimize air pollution and damage caused by heavy traffic to the streets in the historic city centre. This innovative boat is equipped with an onboard crane, which makes it possible to collect waste directly from the shore, without equipment needed on the quay.
Regarding port development through cooperation, the Province of Utrecht and the Municipality of Nieuwegein signed an agreement to cooperate on the development of Het Klooster, the new container terminal in Utrecht. Het Klooster is a business park centrally located and is situated along major highways and waterways. Developing a container terminal at this location is an important addition to the nationwide network of container terminals. The Amsterdam-Rhine canal gives access to the north and east of the country (and Germany) and the Lekkanaal leads to the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. More than two thirds of the goods imported annually through the port of Rotterdam are transported by inland waterways to economic centres in and outside the Netherlands.
The issue of the exact location of the terminal on the business park (out of four possibilities) now needs to be confirmed by a feasibility study that will integrate historical, cultural, environmental and economic aspects.
The go/no go decision for the project in Nieuwegein is postponed. Reason for that are new insights in the business case: a new container terminal will be opened soon in Tiel and the growth of the terminal in Utrecht is now stabilized. Therefore there is not enough market potential for an independent container terminal. Instead, there is an idea for combined storage and transhipment of containers and building materials. Innovative elements are the portal crane that will be used for containers as well as for bulk, and the logistic cooperation with the terminal in Utrecht. A go/no go-decision is expected in the end of 2013, depending on research results about (1) noise reduction measures and (2) nautical safety.