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Corporatised Port of Amsterdam given go-ahead.

The corporatised Havenbedrijf Amsterdam NV has been given the go-ahead. At a festive gathering today, the Port of Amsterdam celebrated the news that it will move forward as a limited liability company as of 1 April 2013.

During the meeting, the gathered parties signed the Harbour Master’s Covenant, authorising the Port of Amsterdam to perform nautical tasks and exercise powers. The covenant was signed by Melanie Schultz van Haegen (Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment), Jan Hendrik Dronkers (Director General for Public Works and Water Management), alderperson Carolien Gehrels (Economic Affairs), alderperson Freek Ossel (Ports and Westpoort), CEO Dertje Meijer and harbourmaster Janine van Oosten (Havenbedrijf Amsterdam NV).

Corporatising the Port of Amsterdam will help to create more opportunities and better conditions for the port and the city. The Port of Amsterdam will also proceed more efficiently, boosting economic activity and therefore adding value to the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Regional Port of Amsterdam
Until now, the Port of Amsterdam has been controlled by the City of Amsterdam. As of 1 April 2013, the latter will become a shareholder in the new port business. It is the intention that over the coming three years, other governmental parties may become fellow shareholders, e.g. regional city councils and the province of North Holland.

New board of directors
Alderperson Carolien Gehrels presented the board of directors and the Supervisory Board of the new Port of Amsterdam company. The board of directors consists of Dertje Meijer (CEO), Koen Overtoom (COO) and Ed Nieuwenhuizen (CFO). They will be officially appointed on 1 April 2013. The Harbour Master Division is managed by the harbourmaster Janine van Oosten. The Supervisory Board has six members: chairperson of the board is Klaas Westdijk, while its other members include Ingrid Doerga, Willemijn Maas, René Smit, Dook van den Boer and Jeroen de Haas.

Public tasks
From within Havenbedrijf Amsterdam NV, the harbourmaster of Amsterdam will be performing public tasks on behalf of various clients, such as the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Director General for Public Works and Water Management, the Central Nautical Management in the North Sea Canal Area (CNB) and the City of Amsterdam. The goal is to ensure smooth and safe handling of shipping traffic.

The Harbour Master Covenant is in place to protect public interests. It also describes the steering and supervisory framework and is intended to guarantee effective, efficient and legitimate implementation of the harbourmaster’s tasks. The harbourmaster fulfils an independent position at the Port of Amsterdam and reports directly to the Mayor & College of Alderpersons of the City of Amsterdam, the CNB and the Director General for Public Works and Water Management.

Smart port
The Port of Amsterdam is the fourth-largest port in Western Europe and a significant player in regards to transhipments and handling energy products. The North Sea Canal Area tranships almost 100 million tons of goods annually, of which 75 million tons is handled by the Port of Amsterdam. Across the port region, 55,000 employees work for companies located in the port or for port-related companies. Around 23,000 of these employees are based in Amsterdam.

Havenbedrijf Amsterdam NV is working towards becoming a smart port, adding value for clients in an environmentally sustainable and innovative manner. The Port of Amsterdam is determined to stimulate business growth while also ensuring that the available space, the quality of the water, soil and air are treated respectfully. The Port of Amsterdam intends to achieve these ambitions through intensive cooperation with partners in the business community, city and region.

Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment:
“Thanks to this corporatisation – as with our other ports – the Port of Amsterdam will be able to seize economic opportunities, proceed more efficiently at a commercial level and collaborate more effectively. My heartfelt congratulations and best wishes go to all parties involved. I believe that this is a great step towards better cooperation, which is necessary to compete with other ports in Europe.”

Freek Ossel, Alderperson (Ports and Westpoort)
“We are making history together. This step will allow the Port of Amsterdam to operate more efficiently in the market, creating more value for the city and strengthening cooperation in the North Sea Canal Area.”

Carolien Gehrels, Alderperson (Economic Affairs):
“Our goal is to attract companies and investment in the city. This ensures economic growth and creates jobs. Having a corporatised port means we can be more responsive to international developments.”

Dertje Meijer, CEO of the Port of Amsterdam:
“This step is a milestone in the history of our company and we are extremely proud. Our new company will help us realise our ambition to grow and proceed more efficiently. It will also help us to boost economic activity, adding more value to the city and the metropolitan region. It is not only about volumes and tons of cargo processed, but also about value and partnerships. Value for our clients, our environment and also for ourselves.”