Second Maasvlakte

Strategic procedure planning

As the competent authority for this project, the City of Rotterdam has an important role in developing the Second Maasvlakte. The municipal government asked Witteveen+Bos to provide an insight into the municipality’s primary process for construction of MV2. The primary process includes preparing zoning plans for MV2, an environmental impact assessment, a review of the MV1 zoning plan and various exemption procedures, and preparatory decisions. Witteveen+Bos has drawn up a strategic procedure plan for this that clarifies the municipality’s primary process in relation to mandatory procedures and those that require coordination.

First phase contract

MV2 is being constructed in phases. The contract for the first phase of its construction was put out to international tender and was awarded to PUMA in February 2008. The Port of Rotterdam Authority has contracted PUMA to carry out the first phase of MV2 between 2008 and 2012. Besides 700 ha of new port area and the construction of the total sea defence of approximately 11 km, this phase also includes the construction of various docks, 13 km of roads and 14 km of railway line. Half of the 2,000 ha of new land will be raised to 5 metres above the Amsterdam Ordinance Datum to serve as port sites. Most of the new land will be occupied by container transhipment companies.

Innovative hard sea defence

Witteveen+Bos made a substantial contribution to the design of the hard sea defence. It was decided to re-use materials that become available during removal of parts of the existing block dam. More than 20,000 concrete blocks weighing about 40 tonnes each and 2 million tones of crushed stone will be reused. This relatively inexpensive solution is less burdensome on the environment. Together with Boskalis and Van Oord engineers, our hydraulic and geotechnical engineers developed a detailed de-sign that incorporates constructability, while continuing to meet all functional requirements.

Scale model research

The functional requirements with respect to the stability of the hard sea defences were verified by means of scale model studies. We have supported PUMA in coordinating the scale model studies carried out to demonstrate the stability of the design. Together with experts of the research institute and PUMA, we interpreted the model results and decided whether or not to make design alterations and perform additional research.


Our geotechnical engineers are working on practical matters such as checking whether each construction phase is sufficiently geotechnically stable and advising on the quality of the sand to be used. We are also helping to produce work plans based on the functional requirements for the design and the resulting geotechnical criteria.

Exciting challenge

This work requires some practical experience and an ability to work independently. It is an exciting challenge to produce a design in the middle of a project in progress and at the same time to answer all kinds of questions. A lot can be learned from the work environment, particularly from the new cooperation with all kinds of experts and from the embedment of the design process in system engineering. Apart from port logistics, hydraulic engineering and geotechnics, Witteveen+Bos has deployed risk management and systems engineering specialists.