Upgrading of Duisburger Hafen – Europe's biggest inland port

Duisburg is situated at the heart of Europe’s largest industrial conurbation in Germany. Approximately 30 million people live and work within a radius of 150 kilometres. Major European railway lines pass through Duisburg, and five motorways provide connections to all European capitals. The Rhine, Europe’s most important waterway, links the Port of Duisburg directly with the sea ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp as well as the European inland waterway and canal system.

The project promoter, Duisburger Hafen AG or Duisport, is the largest inland port in the world. The port handles the equivalent of 3.6 million containers a year, largely transported on inland waterway barges and by railway to the main seaports in Belgium and the Netherlands. Also sea-going river vessels travel directly between Duisburg and short sea destinations in North-Western Europe and the Mediterranean region. The port is a key node in Europe’s multi-modal logistics network and enables the sustainable transportation of consumer and industrial goods to this high density region. Each year more than 50 million tonnes of various goods are handled, with more than 20 000 ships calling at the port. The public harbour facilities stretch across an area of 7.4 km². There are 21 docks covering an area of 1.8 km² and 40 km of wharf.

The project concerned the construction and acquisition of equipment for new container terminals as well as port infrastructure development for bulk freight and metals in Duisburg Port. The Port constitutes a major interconnection point in Europe and, therefore, the project met the criteria to be eligible as a Trans-European Transport Network (TEN) project. The project is part of the ongoing conversion of Duisburger Hafen from a largely industrial port to a multi-modal logistics hub supporting sustainable transport in Europe. The Logport Logistic-Center Duisburg site stretches across an area of 2.65 km².

The financing of the project involved a loan from the EIB of EUR 60 million, accounting for 44% of the total project investment cost at completion (EUR 135 million).

In 2015, at the time of the completion of the investment programme financed by the Bank, the Port of Duisburg handled around 130 million tonnes, which is 18% more than before the project (110 million tonnes per year). The annual amount (2015) handled directly by Duisburger Hafen AG amounted to 68.6 million tonnes. Effective annual growth rates were 2.1% for the total volumes and 2.8% for the Duisburger Hafen AG volumes. The annual handling volumes have been increasing more rapidly than anticipated at the time of project appraisal.

The port and logistic activities continue to have a considerable and growing regional macroeconomic impact and contribute significantly to employment levels in the region. The number of employees connected to the Port of Duisburg increased from 36 000 in 2006 to 45 000 in 2015.