Lantis awards €570m contract to build Scheldt tunnel in Belgium


Tijdelijke Handelsvennootschap Combinatie Oosterweeltunnel (THV COTU) consortium has been awarded a €570m contract by Lantis to build the 1,800m-long immersed tube tunnel in Belgium.
THV COTU is a consortium of DEME, Besix, BAM Contractors and Jan De Nul.

Said to be the most important connecting element in the Oosterweel link, the Scheldt tunnel closes the Antwerp Ring Road on the north side and will be built according to the ‘immersed tube’ method.

The consortium will construct the eight tunnel elements of approximately 60,000 tonnes each in the inner port of Zeebrugge.

Via the North Sea, the tunnel elements will be towed to Antwerp and the Western Scheldt for immersion in a pre-dredged trench in the River Scheldt in Antwerp.

In a press statement, DEME said: “This technique, in which gravity and the upward force of water are constantly competing with each other, is one of the most ingenious building methods in concrete and hydraulic construction.

“THV COTU is well aware of the challenges that such a project brings with it in a technically difficult environment such as the Scheldt.

“But the partners are confident that they have the necessary expertise and decades of experience to successfully achieve the realisation of this vital stage of the Oosterweel link project.”

The consortium is planning to commence preparatory work this autumn while the construction work for the tunnel is scheduled to start after the summer of 2021.

In 2018, BAAK consortium, comprising Macquarie Capital (70% of SPC), Ballast Nedam (15%) and DEME (15%), has reached financial close on the €1bn Blankenburg Connection public-private partnership (PPP) road project in the Netherlands.

Illustration of Scheldt tunnel in Belgium. (Credit: DEME)

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