January 13 - Antwerp Port Authority and Alfaport Antwerpen have expressed their satisfaction with the decision by the Dutch Council of State (taken today) overturning the stay of deepening work in the Western Scheldt. The decision means that dredging will
Work on deepening the navigation channel in the Western Scheldt will now be able to actually start on the Dutch side. Flanders has already completed the work on its side of the border within the agreed time limit. The Netherlands has until now remained in default, since under the terms of the Scheldt Treaties the work should have been finished by the end of 2009.
According to the Antwerp port community this deepening of the navigation channel will enable Antwerp to defend its position as Europe's second-largest port, in the face of competition from Rotterdam and Hamburg. The benefits of the deeper channel will be reinforced by the new upstream and downstream navigation regulations for the Western Scheldt, introduced by the Permanent Commission for Supervision of Scheldt Navigation in December 2009.