October 18 - During the first nine months of this year, the port of Antwerp handled a total of 142.07 million tonnes of freight, including project cargo and wheeled heavy lift movements, to enjoy an increase of 7.5 percent compared with the first nine mon

The first half of the year proved to be fairly strong, but this was followed by a slowdown in growth during the third quarter.

The volume of conventional and breakbulk freight rose strongly, with 16.0 percent more being loaded and unloaded from January to September than in the same period last year. Wheeled heavy lift items helped ro-ro expansion of 11.3 percent, to 3.0 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, the Antwerp port authority and Brussels-based chemical multinational Solvay have signed a declaration of intent to build the first biomass power station in the port of Antwerp, creating potential business for heavy lift and project forwarders operating in the oil and gas generating industry.

The power station will have a capacity of 200 to 400 MW, enough for a significant part of the power requirements of port industry to be supplied from renewable sources. This represents the power consumption of 500,000 to one million households.

Both parties will set up a special company to map out the main outlines of the project in collaboration with a partner who has yet to be found.