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Nordhavn overview


Environmental impact assessment of the Nordhavn harbour

Environmental impact assessment of new container and cruise terminal at the Ydre Nordhavn harbour area

Copenhagen’s Nordhavn harbour area is undergoing extensive urban development with new residential areas and infrastructure, including two new metro stations and the Nordhavn tunnel. As an important element in the urban development, By & Havn and Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) are planning to relocate the existing container terminal at Copenhagen’s Nordhavn from Levantkaj to a new location at Ydre Nordhavn.

Sweco conducted the environmental impact assessment of the relocation of CMP’s container terminal and the establishment of a new cruise terminal at Ydre Nordhavn. The project also involved dredging the seabed at the two new quays.

Realised, 2020
By & Havn | Copenhagen Malmö Port
Environmental assessment, reporting, environmental impact assessment
Nordhavn overview 2

Comprehensive environmental impact assessment

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency served as the environmental assessment authority for the part of the project that concerned onshore installations, while the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority served as the environmental assessment authority for the part that concerned sea installations, including dredging at the new terminals. The Danish parliament adopted a new construction law for Ydre Nordhavn, which was a prerequisite for the project, which together with the rest of the planning activities for Copenhagen’s Nordhavn constitutes the legal framework for the project.

Sweco helped By & Havn and CMP prepare input for project descriptions and a conceptual proposal for public consultation of the proposed project, provide input for focusing and definition of the environmental impact assessment and drew up a comprehensive environmental assessment report for the project.

The environmental impact assessment comprised:

Risk factors at the container terminal

Impact on nature and protected species, in particular

Water handling (wastewater, surface water)

Landscape impact


Establishment of the project on top of a contaminated soil landfill

Emissions to the air, sustainability and climate

Dredging of the harbour area

Navigational safety

Outdoor life and commerce

Marine flora and fauna

The environmental impact assessment compared the project’s environmental impact with the current environmental status of the area.

Sweco also developed the conceptual design for drainage of the terminal areas and prepared an application for environmental approval of the container terminal.

Surplus material used to create new land

Ydre Nordhavn was established by filling the sea with surplus material from major construction projects in the Greater Copenhagen area. Parts of Ydre Nordhavn have been approved as a landfill for contaminated soil, and the establishment of the new terminals must therefore be timed with the decommissioning of the landfill.

The new container terminal is located along a new northern quay, with a ro-ro terminal for trailer and general cargo next to it. STS cranes, workshop facilities, administration and customs, veterinary inspection and police buildings will be established. In addition to the three existing cruise terminals, a new cruise terminal will be built along the eastern quay of Ydre Nordhavn as well as new quay areas and a new terminal building.