Canal Seine-Nord Europe Deal Awarded

Engineering and consulting firms setec and Royal HaskoningDHV have been selected by VNF, the French navigable waterways authority, to jointly provide program management assistance over 12 years for a canal link extending from France to Belgium.

The vast new Canal Seine-Nord Europe will connect the basin of the Seine near Paris, to the Scheldt, near Lille, giving access to Belgian and Dutch inland waterways networks.

Long awaited by the international water transport sector and the European Union, the new canal will be designed for vessels up to 4,400 tonnes capacity. It will eliminate a major bottleneck on the European waterway network and provide links with six seaports to offer an alternative method of transporting freight with access into the heart of large urban areas.

The improved reliability and reduced logistics costs of inland water transport will raise the competitiveness of industry. The canal taps into the waterway’s potential for water transfer and tourism, and contributes to a reduction in greenhouse gases and consumption of non-renewable energy.

The canal will be 107 kilometers long, 54 meters wide, 4.5 meters deep and include six locks, three channel bridges, new infrastructure and 55 million cubic meters of dry earth works.

setec and Royal HaskoningDHV will jointly provide their expertise in managing complex infrastructure projects, including river projects on an international scale. setec will bring extensive experience and expertise in program management of large infrastructure projects in France.

Royal HaskoningDHV will provide extensive experience and expertise in inland waterways, in addition to supporting setec with the overall program management, and with design of canals, locks and aqueducts.

The European operator Via Donau of Austria will act as a sub-consultant to the joint venture and support the team with in-depth expertise in management and operation of river infrastructure.

Work is scheduled to begin this month for an opening in 2025, with a follow-up of the exploitation phase to 2027. The team members will operate from a common office with VNF in the coming weeks to begin planning for the demanding schedule.