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Port of Rotterdam to launch new trial with mixed mooring

Christian Fernsby |
On 5 April 2021, the Port of Rotterdam Authority will start on a new trial with mixed mooring for inland vessels carrying dangerous cargo.

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Topics: ROTTERDAM   

These ‘cone ships’ – named after the one or two blue cones specifying the cargo’s hazard category – will be allowed to moor side by side or next to vessels that are not carrying dangerous cargo.

Research shows that this can be done without reservation.

Through this experiment, the Port Authority plans to gain experience in this area.

The trial was set up in anticipation of the new national policy guideline regarding mixed mooring that will shortly be issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the planned adaptations to the Binnenvaartpolitiereglement (Inland Waterways Police Regulations, BPR).

When it comes to the safe storage and handling of dangerous substances, the adoption of new rules for minimum mooring distances in the BPR has already resulted in quite a few changes in the structural design of inland vessels.

In 2020 the Port of Rotterdam Authority commissioned a third-party study to determine whether the existing mooring distances were still practical.

Based on this risk analysis, the Port Authority concluded that the current mooring distances for vessels transporting certain categories of dangerous goods, as specified in article 7.07 paragraph 1 of the BPR, need to be updated.

That is why the Harbour Master of Rotterdam, working in partnership with Rijkswaterstaat and all relevant stakeholders, has initiated a process that is intended to yield mooring distances in line with current safety levels in inland shipping.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has announced that by the end of 2021, it intends to have a new policy guideline in place until the regulation has been definitely adapted.

In anticipation of this development, the Port Authority set up this trial – to gain the necessary experience with mixed mooring in Rotterdam’s port area.

Working in consultation with external partners, the Harbour Master of Rotterdam has issued a new traffic order specifying various locations where vessels can deviate from the regulatory mooring distances.

This traffic order also sets out rules of conduct that the vessels’ captains need to adhere to when mooring at these locations.

These rules take the safety report written in collaboration with the inland shipping sector as a starting point, and have been coordinated with Rijkswaterstaat, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Port of Amsterdam and RIVM.


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