Nature compensation for expansion of the Port of Antwerp

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Port of Antwerp is a major Flemish centre of growth. Year after year, the container handling business achieves record figures, necessitating an expansion of around 300 hectares to ensure further future growth. In all this, it is firmly committed to a sustainable development of the port area itself and preventing and mitigating its impact on the surrounding area.

The ‘Complex Project Extra Container Capacity Antwerp’ (CPECA) was launched to ensure a thorough preparation for the expansion. The objective? To arrive at the best combination of the various objectives within an acceptable timeframe and through focused consultation with all stakeholders. The Flemish Government entrusted the SHIP Partnership, a temporary association of several expert parties, including Witteveen+Bos Belgium, with the design and studies.

Our team of ecologists and hydrologists is responsible, among other things, for the design plan and the development of the nature compensation area ‘Prosperpolder Zuid’ (PPZ). An area just south of the Hedwigepolder, on the border of Flanders and the Netherlands, some 1.5 km from the Scheldt.

To give local fauna and flora every opportunity, our team drew up a nature development plan for the development of the ‘surrogate coast’ nature type with islands and watercourses. The tide on the Scheldt is thereby used as a driving force to allow about 175,000 m³ of water to flow through the area every day.

To guide the design and assess its effects on the local environment, our team built ecological, geohydrological and hydromorphological models. The nature development plan was further developed into a technical file ready to be licensed with regard to the future nature development, water inlet and discharge engineering works and new dykes. This project will soon provide Flanders with 160 ha of additional valuable natural area.

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