Maasvlakte 2

New land in the sea

Maasvlakte 2 is the expansion of the port of Rotterdam. A new top European location for port activities and industry is being created immediately to the west of the present port and industrial area. When the construction of Maasvlakte 2 began in 2008, the sea there was 17 meters deep. Maasvlakte 2 existed on no map, except for the design drawings. Maasvlakte 2 will soon encompass 1,000 hectares net of industrial ground, located directly on deep water.

Expansion of the port

To stand still is to regress. This applies to the port of Rotterdam too. The port has already grown rapidly during recent decades. In order to meet increasing demand in the future also, and to maintain its leading role, the port must expand. If it fails to do so, there is a significant risk that shipping companies will pass it by in the future. With the construction of Maasvlakte 2, a high-grade location is being created in the heart of the European market, so that the port can continue to progress from 2013.


The future of the port does not, of course, depend solely on its position in the market. Quality of life and the environment are at least equally important. This is why sustainability is high on Maasvlakte 2's list: both during construction and in the selection of companies who wish to establish themselves there. So in this selection, more things than financial yield alone are considered. Environmental aspects too, such as the amount of air pollution, or how the transshipment of containers to the hinterland is organised, are taken into account. To summarise, customers who carry out their activities sustainably are expressly being sought for Maasvlakte 2.

Environmental compensation

Nature will be lost through the construction of Maasvlakte 2. To restrict the consequences for the environment as far as possible, compensation is taking place. This is happening in accordance with Dutch and European stipulations. The Bird and Habitat Directive is determining here. In this directive, the European Union specifies which areas must be protected so that habitats for specific flora and fauna remain in existence.


The expansion of the port with Maasvlakte 2 is taking place while nature and quality of life projects are also being worked on in the Rijnmond region: room is being created in the port and in the region, both for businesses and for nature, so that the quality of life in the entire region undergoes a net increase. This is the dual objective that the Rotterdam Mainport Development Project (PMR) is striving for.

Discuss and decide

Early on, discussions were started with surrounding municipalities and stakeholder organisations on matters including nature, the environment and fisheries for example, to permit Maasvlakte 2 and quality of life improvement to proceed in parallel. The results are resounding agreements, laid down in, for instance, a government decree, the PMR Key Physical Planning Decision.

Sand becomes land

The reclaimed land is protected by a partly soft and partly hard seawall. Beach and dunes form the soft part of it, while pebbles, stone, quarrystone and concrete blocks form the hard part. The ground is raised behind the seawall. The required sand comes from carefully selected areas at sea, and also from the deepening of the port itself and projects in the existing port area. The land reclamation measures around 2,000 hectares in all, as big as Schiphol Airport or Disneyworld. Half of this consists of infrastructure, such as seawalls, waterways, railways, roads and port basins. The other 1,000 hectares offer space for industrial sites.

Length times depth

There is ample room for container transfer, distribution and chemical industry at Maasvlakte 2. Maasvlakte 2 will not only be grand in area. In depth too, the new port basins will offer new perspectives. With its 20-metre depth, the port is accessible to the deep-draught container ships of the future that cannot moor in many other European ports. Rotterdam is one of the most accessible ports in Europe, thanks to its location immediately on the North Sea. Consequently, Maasvlakte 2 can be reached from the sea within one to two hours.

Due to the expansion of the existing port to a total of some 12,500 hectares, the capacity for container transfer will double. Perfect connections to the hinterland present excellent opportunities for businesses that establish themselves at Maasvlakte 2.