Europoort ("Eurogate", also "Europort") is a harbour of Rotterdam and the adjoining industrial area in the Netherlands. Being situated at the mouth of the rivers Rhine and Meuse with the hinterland consisting of the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and partly France, Europoort is one of the world's busiest ports and considered a major entry to Europe.
The Europoort area is very heavily industrialised with petrochemical refineries and storage tanks, bulk iron ore and coal handling as well as container and new motor vehicle terminals.
To improve the situation, the Nieuwe Waterweg ("New Waterway"), a large canal, was designed to connect the Rhine and Meuse rivers to the sea. The Nieuwe Waterweg was designed to be partly dug, then to further deepen the canal bed by the natural flow of the water. Ultimately however, the last part had to be dug also. Nevertheless, Rotterdam from now on had a connection between the sea and harbour areas with sufficient depth. The Nieuwe Waterweg has since been deepened several times.
Over the years the port was further developed seaward by building new docks and harbour-basins. In the 1970s the port was extended into the sea at the south side of the mouth of the Nieuwe Waterweg by completion of the Maasvlakte (Meuse-plain), a large land reclamation area with even more refineries and storage tanks. This project was called Europoort, literally the "Gate to Europe". Currently, plans are being developed to extend Europoort even further seaward with the Tweede Maasvlakte (Second Meuse-plain).
In the past five years the industrialized skyline has been changed by the addition of large numbers of wind turbines taking advantage of the exposed coastal conditions.