French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls announced officially, on September 26th in Arras, the government’s commitment to the building of the Seine-Nord Canal linking the Greater Paris area with the major ports of northern Europe, including Dunkirk Port.
This long-awaited project is estimated to be worth around €4 billion, and will be funded by the European Union, the French government, local regional governments and through public-private partnerships.
“Commitment to the Seine-Nord Canal has always been total. The staff of the port of Dunkirk and all the operators of the port community have been working with design offices for many years on the new traffic opportunities offered by this waterway,” said Valls.
“GPMD has also contributed to the various studies related to this major project, as various routes have been planned and different assumptions considered. It now intends to continue and develop the partnerships already begun with inland platforms, through Nord Gateway (the Regional Port Businesses Association),” added Valls.
The 105km long canal will be 54m wide with a maximum available draft of 3m, enabling vessels of up to 4,400 tonnes to transit it. The canal will include several locks, varying in height from 15m to 30m.
“In more concrete terms, it is certain that the excavation of this canal will substantially enlarge Dunkirk’s hinterland, make it possible to meet the growing demand for aggregates in the Paris area, to reach many grain ports along the future canal, and to increase container traffic at import and export,” said Valls.
The final decision on the project should be known by mid 2015.
October 1, 2014