Belgium: Antwerp Port Authority Invests EUR 1.6 Billion in Development

The board of directors of Antwerp Port Authority has approved the long-term financial plan (2011-2025), representing an amount of 1.6 billion euros. With this ambitious investment plan the Port Authority is banking on the future.

The ambitious long-term plan was presented to the board of directors by port alderman Marc Van Peel and CEO Eddy Bruyninckx. It had originally been drawn up the previous month by the management, but modifications were made to it last week as a result of changes to the Oosterweel plans. The exercise was finally completed with two Oosterweel projects.

The Oosterweel connection forms part of the 2020 Master Plan, Mobility Antwerp. This plan provides for new roads, additional tram and light rail projects, footpaths, initiatives to promote barge and rail transport and more besides, all aimed at improving mobility, road safety and quality of life.

The Oosterweel link will close the last gap in the Antwerp ring road. The Flemish government has opted for the tunnel variant, on condition that the additional cost is borne by the City of Antwerp and Antwerp Port Authority. The Port Authority’s board of directors has agreed to the additional investment for this project.

This ambitious investment plan is only possible thanks to the sustainable financial policy that the Port Authority has followed in recent years. “It is these financial results, without trying to maximise profits, that even after a period of crisis give us a sufficient financial basis to implement this investment programme that is so important to our customers, and to go ahead with the priority activities and investments,” says Port Authority CEO Eddy Bruyninckx.

Keeping Antwerp competitive as the second-largest port in Europe is given substance by the Total Plan and further put into practice by this long-term programme, with the annual amount of investment being doubled in comparison with previous years. Over the next 15 years the Port Authority will invest 1.6 billion euros in:

· Expansion of the port:

o Development of the Verrebroek dock

o The Saeftinghe Development Area

o The Port of Antwerp International investment policy

· Port facilities:

o Construction of a second lock on the left bank. (Work will start officially next summer. Antwerp Port Authority launched the formal tendering procedure for the construction at the end of last week)

o Dock renovation and investment

o Maintenance of roads and bridges

o Modifications to the Canal dock

o Modifications to the Waasland canal

o Cleaning up of the dock bottoms

· Equipment:

o Purchase of a new suction dredging barge

o Purchase of new tugboats (three under construction, four on order)

o Purchase of dumb barges and a pusher barge

o Dock-mounted cranes and mobile cranes

· Buildings:

o New Port House and renovation of the administrative buildings

o New AWN workshop

Additional expenditure is planned for purchase of land from General Motors (GM) and financial contributions to the Oosterweel project and the Port of Antwerp Stadium. In its longterm plan the Port Authority has allowed for the purchase of land from General Motors, which is closing its Antwerp plant. Antwerp Port Authority has a right of option and a right of sale for the GM land. As regards the use to be made of the site the Port Authority will join the discussions with the Flemish government with a view to setting up an industrial project.

Source: portofantwerp, October 7, 2010

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