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Growing port is stimulating the economy

  • 250 hectare of new land
  • 37 million cubic metres of sand needed
  • 2 of Van Oord's largest trailing suction hopper dredgers deployed
  • new port can accommodate container ships with a capacity of 22,000 TEU

In Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the development is transitioning seamlessly from the residential area to the port area. In order to offer residents a better living environment and create additional transhipment capacity, the port is being expanded. Since early 2016, Van Oord has been working on one of Taiwan’s largest land reclamation projects. The new land will offer space for new shipyards and terminals, some of which will be able to receive container ships with a capacity of 22,000 TEU. The growth of the port makes a positive contribution to Taiwan’s economic development and ensures that Kaohsiung retains its position as the country’s most important port.

Extra capacity

The Port of Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s largest port. Each day, around 150 vessels pass through the port, where more than 10 million containers are transhipped each year. The expansion will result in extra capacity of 611 TEUs on a yearly basis by 2018. In order to achieve this, 37 million cubic metres of sand is being dredged to reclaim 250 hectares of new land.

The port has been expanded inland several times in order to accommodate the growing number of transhipment companies and industries. This time, however, the Taiwan International Ports Corporation decided to expand offshore. Van Oord is honoured to assist Taiwan in achieving its land reclamation and port expansion aspirations.

Guus de Vries, Regional Manager North and South East Asia
Guus de Vries, Regional Manager North and South East Asia


Van Oord deployed two of its largest trailing suction hopper dredgers to the site: the Vox Máxima and the Rotterdam. Working with the large vessels right next to the port entrance offered the project team some interesting challenges. Production engineer Rémon Kik regularly visits the vessels and ensures that the dredging process is continuously being optimised: ‘We dredge sand at two sites and use different dumping methods, so that we can work as efficiently as possible.’ Although each vessel has its own schedule, the vessels are often next to one another on the project site. ‘It’s a beautiful sight’, says Rémon. ‘One of the interesting challenges is how we can combine the strengths of the Vox Máxima and Rotterdam to achieve as much synergy as possible.’

Safety is top priority

Because work is being carried out during typhoon season, safety has taken on an extra dimension for this project. In addition to the usual safety measures, a typhoon preparedness plan has been made. Superintendent Wilco Zonneveld: ‘Thanks to this plan, we were well prepared for Typhoon Nepartak in the summer of 2016. All the measures we took ensured that the project team, the crew members, and the equipment weathered the storm. The preparedness plan and the say YES to safety programme ensure that everyone’s safety is our top priority!’

Additional information
  • Start date
    March 2016
  • End date
    January 2018
  • Location
    Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Business Unit
  • Client
    Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC)