Schelde treaties signed

Brussels, Belgium – On 21 December 2005, Flemish minister for Public Works and Environment Kris Peeters signed four treaties concerning the river Schelde. The Dutch government was represented by the minister of Transport and Public Works Karla Peijs and the state secretary of Transport and Public Works Melanie Schultz van Haegen.

The treaties enable the river Schelde to be deepened until 13,1m. This is very important for the port of Antwerp. The dredging operation has to be started at the latest in 2007 and has to be finished no later than 2009. The deepening of the river Schelde will allow bigger container ships to enter the port of Antwerp independent from tidal activity.

The deepening is very necessary for the Antwerp port’s future as world player. The treaties include a long-term view concerning the Schelde estuary. Aspects like environment and security against flooding were not ignored.