BESIX, Van den Berg and BESIX Infra join hands to build the new Royerssluis pumping station

6 February 2020

The new infrastructure will protect the city of Antwerp against flooding.

Today, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to kick off the construction of the new Royerssluis (Royers lock) pumping station, located in the port of Antwerp. Aquafin has awarded the project to a joint venture formed by BESIX, Van den Berg and BESIX Infra. The contract consists of the replacement of the existing screw pump pumping station and the wastewater pumping station, built by BESIX Infra some ten years ago. Aquafin is a new client for BESIX. This project is another good example of a One-Stop-Shop approach.

Antwerp's drainage system needs to be adapted in light of the planned widening and lengthening of the Royers lock. Using Archimedes screws, the new pumping station must raise the rainwater brought in via the sewer network from the city centre and certain peripheral areas, for discharge into the River Scheldt. The existing screw pump and wastewater pumping station have been decommissioned owing to ageing, with drainage currently provided by temporary replacement pumps with above-ground pipes.

The new Royerssluis pumping station will consist of 4 large screws. Each screw can pump 2 m³/s, enabling the entire installation to process up to no less than 8,000 litres of water a second. The screws bring a fixed flow to a fixed height: pumping their rated flow at all times, regardless of the water levels in the Scheldt or in the sewers. Built partly underground and partly above ground, the screw pumps need to protect the city against flooding during storm tides.

This new infrastructure project entails a number of challenges, with other projects being carried out simultaneously and in each other's proximity, such as the widening of the new Royers lock, the development of the Dry Dock and the Maritime Museum. Water management is also an important point for attention since the run-off water still passes through the sewer system in heavy rainfalls. Moreover, the technically complex project must be completed within a short time span of 850 calendar days. Finally, the new infrastructure lies close to a number of important traffic arteries that cannot easily be diverted.

BESIX will be responsible for the concrete works, Van den Berg for the pressure piping (directional drillings) and BESIX Infra for the road diversions and the sewerage works. At the end of the construction phase, BESIX Environment, an internal department of BESIX dedicated to environmental contracting activities, will commence work on the electromechanical equipment of the pumping station. This project once again showcases the wide range of areas of expertise and specialisations that exist within BESIX, enabling the group to offer efficient, integrated solutions. The BESIX Group One-Stop-Shop approach also played an important role in winning the tender.

Jan Hannes, Execution Manager, BESIX Infra, explains: “Our action plan in terms of planning, risk, safety and environmental management was decisive. The fact that we offer a single point of contact to the client has also been to our advantage.”
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