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Port Oostende one step closer to seaward expansion

Port OostendeFor more than two years, Port Oostende has been working on a possible seaward expansion of its port area. The ships, the wind turbines and the components are getting bigger and in order to maintain its leading position in the blue economy, Port Oostende has argued for a seaward expansion. More specifically, this concerns a quay wall with adjacent installation site on the Eastern breakwater.

An environmental impact study was done that there are no negative effects. In addition to the environmental impact study, various technical studies and a cost price calculation were also carried out. A flow analysis in collaboration with Ghent University is currently underway. The next step in the process is a Social Cost-Benefit Analysis (SCBA). Port Oostende will have ECSA perform a Social Cost-Benefit Analysis (SCBA) for a quay wall with adjacent installation site. ESCA is the acronym for European Center for Strategic Analysis. It has been in existence since 1995 and since then has been mainly involved in projects related to transport and ports.

The team that focuses on the Port Oostende project is led by Prof. Dr. Elvira Haezendonck; professor at the Solvay Business School of the University of Brussels and at the University of Antwerp and Prof. Dr. Michaël Dooms of Solvay Business School/UB. They have long experience in such assignments. The new infrastructure will be used for the development of new offshore wind farms and will be built in the Eastern outer harbour of Oostende, adjacent to the Eastern breakwater. The project is extremely important in the context of the energy transition and will contribute to the further economic development of Port Oostende and the entire Oostende region. In addition, it contributes to job creation, greater energy independence, technological and industrial development. This expansion can also have a significant impact on coastal defense. Coastal defense will be one of the most important topics in the coming decades due to climate change. With this, Port Oostende is continuing to build on the future for young and old.

Charlotte Verkeyn, Chairman Port Oostende, says, “Today, 399 wind turbines are operational in the Belgian part of the North Sea. Various companies maintain these installations at sea from the port of Oostende. The unique advantages of the REBO heavy weight terminal in combination with a new quay wall with adjacent installation site will benefit the further growth of the blue economy in our region.” Dirk Declerck, CEO Port Oostende, adds, “The port landscape is changing worldwide at a rapid pace. Port Oostende is one of the world leaders in the field of the blue economy, but must therefore adapt to ensure the continuity of activities and employment in the future. In addition, this expansion is also an important link in the context of coastal defense as the impact of climate change is being felt hard in coastal areas worldwide.”