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Container Pier HATO

XpBonaire Feature Story

The freight flow on Bonaire has been critical for years. According to KPMG (Business Case 2013), the two piers in Kralendijk are multi use, servicing both cruise and cargo. Additionally, the piers are in bad shape due to old age. The pier design enables only smaller ships to dock which creates dependency on Curacao for almost all cargo. Because the piers are situated in the center of town, there is no possibility to process the increasing cargo volume. Needless to say, the island government has been working actively on a solution since 2010.

Early this year the Executive council agreed upon a business plan for the Hato plant and signed the Sea Ports of Bonaire Partnership agreement in The Hague mid-February 2020.

In 2017, Manager of the commercial business unit, Port of Amsterdam, LD Ridder, explained why Hato became the favorite option after several studies. The plant, currently used by WEB to produce and distribute electricity and drinking water, is planning to move the electrical power production elsewhere. The sea water intake and the production of drinking water will remain at the current site.

The Executive Council prefers Hato for many reasons:

Available space – calm waters - zoning plan - road access

The approximately four acres of land available offer the opportunity to commercialize, control and regulate the development of the harbor area.

Steady and calm waves provide a stable sea which will make maritime transport easier.

The zoning plan for the area was already designated for industrial and harbor use and the entrance to the location is easily accessible for heavy vehicle traffic.

The mooring of Hato doesn’t require much dredging for a RoRo basin and the reef drop-off is relatively close to the shore. Mid-size cargo ships are expected to dock in the new premises.

The ''Water-en Energiebedrijf Bonaire NV' ' is owned by the Public Entity of Bonaire. Allegedly, this would lower the budget to roughly 62 million US dollars (2013) as no land acquisition is needed.

All parties agree that establishing a new cargo port is crucial to efforts regarding economic development on Bonaire.

Neighborhood Concerns

Concerned parties, businesses and homeowners in the Hato area disagree with this choice.

The calm, peaceful and beautiful neighborhood would change completely with the active, heavy truck traffic, not to mention the property values that will drop with an expanded industrial area located next door. The dive resorts, located right in the middle of the future heavy truck traffic, will most likely suffer losses due to the changes in the surroundings and the noise pollution.

In their opinion, they would like to see a solution for the containers that makes sense, but building a pier where there isn't currently one will destroy the reef and could endanger the island’s water source, as drinking water would be pulled from beneath the container ships.

One of the reasons people may want the pier in Hato is because they are being told that the container pier will reduce costs. The Hato neighborhood is of the opinion that the government has not shown or backed up this claim.

According to KPMG business case 2013, these are the pros and cons of relocating the container port to the Hato location:


■Limited adjustments to convert the current WEB location into cargo port premises

■Limited dredging

■Sufficient land available for expansion and the ability to dock ships larger than 120m

■Land indirectly owned by OLB through ownership of WEB

■Drop off is relatively close to shore

■Nautical protection

■WEB B fits within the Capex budget


■ Additional USD 5.5 million for an access road to bypass Kralendijk in phase I

■ Situated in a residential and recreational area (extra mitigating measures will be needed)

■ Possible conflict in usage of Ro-Ro and oil terminal ships, requires coordination

KPMG proposed 4 locations, with Hato announced as the most favored

- Hato power plant (WEB)

- Te Amo Beach, airport.

- Punt Vierkant

- Cargill

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