Press release

Mayor Bovenschulte visits bremenports Published on 07 May 2020

Deepening the Weser, climate protection and quay refurbishment – “Clear course for the ports in the Federal Land of Bremen”

During a visit to the port management company bremenports and the Container Terminal in Bremerhaven today (7 May 2020), Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte obtained comprehensive information about the situation at the ports of Bremen. Bovenschulte stated, “I am impressed by how everyone involved has joined forces during this difficult time to ensure that our ports remain open right round the clock, every single day. This means that even during the crisis, the ports in the Federal Land of Bremen continue to play an essential role in maintaining the supply chains. The private and public actors at the ports have shown that both the German economy and German consumers can count on them. My sincere thanks go to all of them.”

Mayor Bovenschulte (left) and bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe

Bovenschulte stressed that the Senate has approved a whole number of measures proposed by the Senator for Science and Ports to support the port and logistics business. For instance, they now offer the option of deferring rental, lease payments and ground rents as well as port charges, and the increase in ground rents that was planned for 2020 has been postponed. Bovenschulte added, “The Federal Land of Bremen has put in the preliminary work to help businesses at the port during the crisis. The ports are an essential part of the German economy, which is why it is also a national duty to support them. We will be speaking to the federal government about this in future.”

It is of crucial importance for Bremen’s economy that the ports of Bremen emerge strong from the crisis. Bovenschulte pointed out, “The ports are the economic powerhouse of our Federal Land and the entire region. This also calls for a clear political course in future – and this Senate avows to do just that.”

During a trip with the bremenports service vessel Hol Blank in the course of his visit to Bremerhaven, Mayor Bovenschulte took the opportunity of asking bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe about forthcoming investment projects. One such project is the comprehensive planning work currently in progress for renewal of the roughly one-kilometre long Columbus quay. Construction of the 80-million-euro project resolved by the Senate is scheduled to begin in 2022, on conclusion of the planning permission procedures. Construction of the new Quay 66 at the entrance to Nordschleuse lock will begin in the course of this year. Another mega-project at the Container Terminal is also on the cards for the next few years: in response to the neverending increase in the size of the container vessels and the resulting erection of the latest generation of container gantry cranes, the Senator for Science and Ports will commission bremenports to draw up plans for refurbishment of the container quay in Bremerhaven, after this has been discussed by the competent political bodies. In that connection, Mayor Bovenschulte emphasised the importance of deepening the navigation channel in the Outer Weser. “This is an economic stimulus package for the ports of Bremen. It is a matter of the greatest urgency that the federal government tackles the necessary planning work as soon as possible.”

Mayor Bovenschulte (left) wearing a bremenports jacket on board the Hol Blank

Robert Howe commented, “Port development will continue to confront bremenports with a number of exciting challenges over the next few years, especially in the container sector. Bremerhaven is in an excellent position to continue to face fierce competition in future.” In addition to ongoing refurbishment of the infrastructure, the topic of climate protection is also of key importance to bremenports. Howe added, “Together with the business enterprises and scientific institutions at the ports, we are in the process of drawing up concrete plans for achieving a climate-neutral port. This will consolidate the pioneering role that bremenports already plays thanks to its greenports strategy.”

Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte explicitly welcomed this commitment and said he believed it was essential to reassess economic measures in terms of their importance for climate protection in the upcoming debate on how to overcome the economic recession. “It is of the utmost importance that the ports of Bremen set an excellent example in respect of climate protection.”