Dutch-Flemish in crucial Antwerp port deal
21 December 2005
BRUSSELS — Belgian and Dutch government authorities reached a deal in the Zeeland city of Middelburg on Wednesday aimed at deepening the Schelde River which runs between the two countries.
The excavation works to the shipping route — which is vitally important to the Antwerp port — will start in 2007 and are scheduled to be completed by 2009.
The deepening of the river will allow ships with a depth of 13.1m to access the Antwerp port, independent of the tide. It means the port will be able to keep servicing large container ships.
The deal was agreed on by the Flemish and Dutch governments, newspaper ‘Het Gazet van Antwerpen’ reported.
It was one of four treaties signed by Flemish Public Works and Environment Minister Kris Peeters, Dutch Transport and Public Works Minister Karla Peijs and her State Secretary Melanie Schultz van Haegen on Wednesday.
The Antwerp port director, Eddy Bruyninckx, said the deepening of the Schelde River was vital for the Flemish city to maintain itself as a world harbour.
The excavation works will cost EUR 250 million, of which the Flemish government will pay EUR 205 million. The Netherlands will pay EUR 45 million.
The deepening of the Schelde was included in a wider-ranging treaty over the long-term vision of the Schelde estuary.
That agreement also contained a section aimed at preserving the natural quality of the area and a section aimed at preventing flooding.
The total price of the projects will amount to EUR 830 million, of which Flanders will pay EUR 585 and the Netherlands EUR 245 million.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news, Belgian news