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Intention to award contract for New Lock in Terneuzen

Artist impression Nieuwe Sluis Terneuzen

After an intensive tendering procedure the Flemish-Netherlands Scheldt Committee is planning to award the contract for the construction of the New Lock in Terneuzen to the Sassevaart consortium. The following parties belong to this consortium: BAM Infra B.V., DEME Infra Marine Contractors B.V., Dredging International N.V., BAM Contractors N.V. and Algemene Aannemingen Van Laere N.V. The final award of the project is intended to be on 25 August 2017. The work will start at the end of 2017 and the first ship will sail through the New Lock in 2022. The lock is going to be just as long and wide as the renovated locks in the Panama Canal, with dimensions of 427 x 55 x 16.44 metres. The lock is being constructed within the existing lock complex in Terneuzen.

All the parties involved have been notified of the intention to award the contract to the Sassevaart consortium. The Sassevaart consortium had the Most Economically Advantageous Tender. This means that they were the best tenderer based on price and quality. The tenders received were first evaluated for the quality criteria by a committee of experts. Only when the results of this had been established, were the prices offered examined. The Sassevaart consortium submitted a tender for the design and construction of the New Lock for an amount of 753,346,000 Euros (including VAT). A period will now follow in which the two other tenderers can make known any objections they may have. If no objections are submitted during this period the final award will be made. This is expected to be on 25 August 2017. The procedure complies with the European tendering regulations.


A start was made on the European tender at the end of May 2016. In view of the scope and complexity of the work it was decided to go for a Design & Construct contract with a competitive dialogue. Design & Construct means that, in the light of the requirements that have been drawn up, the contractor himself prepares a detailed design and carries out the work. In the competitive dialogue based on a descriptive document a number of dialogue rounds are held with all the parties selected. In these we discussed all the aspects of the contract to arrive at the best resources and solutions. At the start of May 2017 three final tenders were received and evaluated over the following weeks. After approval of the results by the Flemish Government and the positive opinion of Ministers Weyts and Schultz Van Haegen on behalf of the Flanders-Netherlands Scheldt Committee the award to the Sassevaart consortium could be announced.

Why a new lock?

The Ghent and Terneuzen port areas are of great economic importance. The lock complex in Terneuzen forms the access to these ports located on the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal and is a crucial link in the Seine-Scheldt connection. Research into maritime access to the Canal Zone has shown that a capacity problem is threatening for inland shipping and for sea shipping problems are anticipated regarding size, availability and reliability of the passage. The New Lock will provide better access and a smoother flow of traffic from the Western Scheldt to the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal and beyond. The New Lock can also pave the way for new economic activities in both the Zeeland-Flanders and the Flemish region and is good for employment.

The construction of the lock including the preparatory costs and support and also the infrastructural management and maintenance for the first two years is expected to cost 934 million Euros (including VAT) In accordance with the agreement between the Netherlands and Flanders, the Netherlands is paying for the construction of the New Lock at Terneuzen, over 190 million Euros, including a regional contribution. In accordance with the agreement, Flanders is bearing the other costs. The Port of Ghent is contributing to the Flemish share of the costs. A contribution of over 48 million Euros is being made from the European CEF funds.

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