More than two years ago, the works on the new screw pumping station at the Royers lock started in the port of Antwerp. Aquafin awarded the project to the temporary joint venture consisting of BESIX, BESIX Unitec and BESIX Infra.
The Antwerp drainage system had to be adapted following the planned widening and lengthening of the Royers lock. The new screw pump will have an important function in this context, as in protecting the city center against excessive rainfall and floods. At high tide, rainwater will be screwed upwards to the Scheldt River, whereas at low tide, water will flow away thanks to a bypass canal, which has been foreseen in the design. The latter sort of water will come from underground city canals and some of the peripheral regions around Antwerp. The existing screw pump and pumping station have been put out of service, as they are outdated. Draining is now guaranteed through temporary pumps and overground pipes.
The new pumping station at the Royers lock consists of 4 large screws. On July 12, 2022, the first screw – with a length of 20 m, width of 3.2 m and a weight of 24 tonnes – was installed. This was a complex operation, as there was only a couple of centimeters of free space between the screw and the concrete structure. Each screw has capacity of 2 m³/s., which means that the whole installation will have a maximal flow rate of no less than 8,000 liters per second.
This project is again a nice example of the many domains of expertise and specialisations BESIX Group has to offer. BESIX Infra is in charge of deviating the surrounding roads and the sewage works, while BESIX is responsible for the concrete works. Lastly, BESIX Unitec has executed the controlled drillings and will also realise the electromechanical equipment of the screw pump. This one-stop shop approach of BESIX Group also played an important role in the tendering phase.