JadeWeserPort is Germany's largest harbour project. It is supported by the states of Lower Saxony and Bremen . This new container port is located at Wilhelmshaven at the Jade Bight, a bay on the North Sea coast. It has a natural water depth in excess of 18 m. Container ships with a length of 430 m and 16,5 m draught will be able to call the JadeWeserPort at any tide. Construction work was begun in March 2008. The port was opened on 21 September 2012. First, the port failed to attract any significant cargo volumes from container lines and it lay largely unused also due to the Great Recession. But the container handling could be raised from 60,000 in 2014 to 426,700 twenty-foot equivalent unit in 2015. The yearly capacity of the port is 2,700,000 TEU.
There have been plans for expanding the commercial operations of the harbours of Wilhelmshaven for many years. Originally a naval base, the deep water of the Jade estuary became more and more attractive for merchant shipping with the growth of ships in the 20th century. In 1958 the first pier for deep draught tankers was built. In 1993, local commercial associations made first plans for a major container terminal with initially four, later six, berths for large container vessels.
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