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Published: 13 January 2010      

Scheldt deepening breakthrough

The deepening of the river Scheldt can go ahead at last, following today's ruling by the Dutch Court of State

The court has today (Wednesday 13 January) waived the remaining appeals, which finally allows the Dutch authorities to commission dredging works in Dutch waters.

The port of Antwerp, the only beneficiary of the additional deepening, is "relieved and extremely satisfied" with the breakthrough. As previously reported, the Belgians have long since completed the dredging works in Belgian territorial waters.

"We’ve already put the champagne in the fridge," Antwerp port director Eddy Bruyninckx told WorldCargo News. "Dredging will now start in February, and although the deepening will be completed in two years, the results will be tangible with every shovel load removed."

Bruyninckx said he has no fears that the pace of the dredging works will be sub-optimal, as the operation is in Dutch waters and therefore carried out under Dutch auspices.

"The [Belgian] Province of Flanders will pay for the dredging works and the dredging company has already been commissioned. It’s just a matter of preparing the dredgers.

"Furthermore, the works will be supervised by the joint Belgian/Dutch nautical body and they have a very good working relationship.

"So February will see the start, and it won’t be done with one dredger for just four hours a day or something slow-paced like that."



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  • Europe) Belgium) Antwerp
  • Europe) Belgium) Scheldt
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  • Dredging and reclamation


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