Van Oord and Boskalis sign contract to reinforce Delfland coast and create nature reserve

News – September 9, 2008

Dutch dredging and marine contractors Van Oord and Boskalis have formed the ‘Delfland Coast Consortium’ to undertake a project involving the reinforcement of Delfland’s coastal defences and the creation of a nature reserve along the Delfland coast.

The consortium signed the contract in the Zeetoren in Hoek van Holland on September 2nd. The client is the Directorate-General for Water Management, which is also acting on behalf of the Water Board for Delfland.

The dredging companies are expected to start pumping the sand for the nature reserve between Hoek van Holland and ’s-Gravenzande in mid-November.

The new dunes and beach that this creates are expected to be completed at the beginning of March 2009.

The consortium will then start reinforcing the coast between ’s-Gravenzande and the harbour at Scheveningen by constructing new dunes and widening the beach in an operation that is due to continue until 2011.

This method of ‘building with nature’ was recommended by the Delta Commission in its advisory report ‘Working Together with Water’, which it presented to the Dutch government on September 3rd.

Said Van oord: “This method of operation has significant added value for society. The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management has commissioned the creation of the nature reserve to compensate for the anticipated detrimental effects arising from the use of Maasvlakte 2, the new area of Rotterdam port on which construction has just started.”

“We are already starting to compensate for the loss of nature. By the time that Maasvlakte 2 is in full operation the area will have evolved into a humid dune valley with valuable flora and fauna, which will ensure that on balance no nature is lost”, said Richard van Breukelen, who signed the contract on behalf of the Directorate-General.

Deputy director Eppe Nieuwenhuis, who attended the contract signing for the Water Board of Delfland, stressed the importance of safety.

“On completion of the work the coast between Hoek van Holland and the harbour at Scheveningen will be safeguarded for the coming 50 years. But people must also be able to relax in safety in the dunes, on the beach and in the sea during the operation.”

According to Johan Kloet, managing director of Van Oord Nederland, the project is in safe hands with the Delfland Coast Consortium: “In order to minimise the disruption for people in the vicinity we will work on the busiest stretches of the shore only in the autumn and winter. And we will plan the work carefully in close consultation with the relevant parties.”

The Delfland Coast project office recently launched a new website The website will keep people informed about the progress of the work.

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