October 3 - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has backed the development of the Seine-Nord Canal, which will connect Greater Paris with northern Europe's premier gateways.
The estimated EUR5 billion development will be 105 km long and 54 wide with a maximum draught of 3 m. Vessels weighing up to 4,400 tonnes will be able to traverse the new waterway.
Speaking in Arras, Valls stated: "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."
HLPFI reported that the inland waterway project was cancelled during 2012 due to spiralling costs and increasing project complexity, although government support for the development gained traction toward the close of 2013.