Construction work starts on Deurganckdok Lock
Yesterday saw the official start of construction work on the second lock on the Left Bank of the River Scheldt in the port of Antwerp. Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works Hilde Crevits CD&V, president of the European Investment Bank EIB Philippe Maystadt, and port alderman and chairman of the Port Authority Marc Van Peel reiterated the importance of these works, stressing that it will be one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Flanders of the next years. Each day about 255 workers will take part in the construction of the biggest lock in the world. The lock is scheduled to open in 2016 and will have cost about 340 million euros by then. Minister Crevits stressed the economic importance of this new lock for the port’s position as a maritime hub. EIB president Maystadt believes the new lock will contribute to the continued development of efficient and sustainable freight transport, with not only Antwerp and Flanders benefiting from it but also Europe as a whole. “Even at a time when serious cutbacks are required, a second lock like this one is crucial for Flanders. An investment of this calibre implies increased maritime, industrial and logistical activity in the Waasland harbour on the left bank, ed. and the creation of more job opportunities in the region,” says Crevits. According to Van Peel, this event marks the second most important day in the history of the harbour after the dredging of the river Scheldt. Says Van Peel: “One forgets that the Left Bank is directly responsible for 14.000 jobs, with a further 35.000 people employed indirectly.” Once completed, the new lock will take over the position of biggest lock in the world from the Berendrecht Lock north of Antwerp. Like her sister lock, the Deurganckdok Lock will be 500 meters long and 68 meters wide, but it will be 4 meters deeper.