The port of Antwerp handled 95,662,759 tonnes of freight during the first six months of this year, an increase of 2.0% in comparison with the same period in 2012. Liquid bulk in particular showed strong growth, especially petroleum derivatives.
In the conventional breakbulk sector 5,352,352 tonnes of freight was loaded and unloaded, down by 0.4% compared with the same period in 2012. Despite this Antwerp still keeps its position as the largest breakbulk port in the range. The ro/ro volume for its part was down by 3.8% to 2,317,514 tonnes, although the number of cars handled increased by 5.6% to 652,038.
Now that definitive approval has been given to the Regional Land Use Plan, which defines the borders of the port expansion on the left bank of the Scheldt and the port redevelopment on the right bank, the lights are at green for a whole series of large investment projects which have been held back until this moment. But for potential investors too, the availability of 1,000 hectares for development is a very attractive prospect. Exactly what use is to be made of this zone will be determined at a later stage. In the meantime the Port Authority has announced its intention of buying the General Motors site, at a price set by experts at Euro 43,600,000. On this 90-ha site the Port Authority would prefer to see development of new industrial activities with high added value, in consultation and collaboration with the Flemish Government.