Deepening of River Scheldt gets green light

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The Dutch authorities have finally agreed to the deepening of the Scheldt River, bringing good news for the Antwerp port.

9 July 2008

BELGIUM – The lower house of Parliament in the Netherlands has finally agreed to the deepening of the River Scheldt.

The four Scheldt treaties, which were concluded between the Netherlands and Flanders at the end of 2005, deal with nature management, traffic management, better anti-flood measures and the depending of the river.

Flanders approved the treaties at the beginning of 2007 while the Netherlands approved them on Tuesday.

There was much resistance in the Netherlands to the deepening of the River Scheldt on Dutch territory because it will lead to the loss of some farming land.

Good news for Port of Antwerp
Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters is pleased that the Dutch have finally approved the treaties.

Peeters expects dredging works to begin in the Netherlands in 2008. Dredging began on the Flemish side of the Scheldt at the end of 2007.

Thanks to the treaties, the Scheldt will be deepened by 13.1 metres. This will enable larger container ships to access the Port of Antwerp at all times. At the moment, the larger ships have to wait for high tide before they can sail into the port.

"The realisation of the four approved Scheldt treaties is of vital importance for the ports of Antwerp and Ghent, and thus for the Flemish economy," says PM Peeters.

PM Peeters cites the Dutch Central Planning Bureau which points out that the execution of the treaties will also bring considerable advantages for the Netherlands.

[ / Expatica]

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