An Interesting Parallel

Yesterday we pointed out the US MARAD’s interest in using “Marine Highways” to compensate for clogged mainland arteries. Today, the Seine-Nord Europe canal in France is being announced for the same purpose. This could be quite interesting if non-commercial traffic is allowed (as planned).

Announcement Translation (via Google):

The competitive dialogue for achieving the long-awaited canal Seine-Nord Europe was launched earlier this week. Regarded as an industrial tool for sustainable growth and as a bond in the service of European competitiveness of ports and territories, this channel shows the desire to include river transport as a major element of the policy of modal shift to achieve the objective to increase from 12 to 25% from the non-road freight by 2022. The original financing plan provides $ 4.2 billion in this project.

To date, thanks to the contribution of the State, the European Union and local authorities, over 97% of the initial financing of the project has been met. In addition, economic actors are seen as the future users of the canal have already begun to prepare their logistics strategies taking into account the perspectives represented by this new infrastructure. According to governmental ambitions, the Seine-Nord canal should be operational by 2016-2017. President Nicolas Sarkozy has already asked the Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and the Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, to establish a working group of state and local governments to implement coherence “Greater Paris, port reform and the Grand Canal.

After a few years to stagnate, the project is topical again with the snap of a competitive dialogue for the colossal work of the canal. In accordance with the opinion of the Advisory Committee on Tender, Inland Waterways of France, the project owner, selected the records of the two groups, respectively led by Bouygues Travaux Publics and Vinci Concessions, which have applied to finance, design, construction, operation, maintenance and regeneration of large gauge canal Seine-Nord Europe. Competitive dialogue, which will now engage with each of them, will help optimize the technical and financial project, to achieve the best proposal for the synthesis of these two areas, for the choice of the policyholder.

The bonding tool that will represent the European canal Seine-Nord Europe once operational is huge. Indeed, the central link connecting European Seine-Scheldt, in partnership with the Belgian regions of Flanders and Wallonia, the Seine-Nord Europe connect seaports and inland basins of the Seine and the Nord-Pas de Calais those of 20 000 km of European inland waterway network wide gauge. This association will strengthen the position of the French ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Dunkirk, which can structure their hinterlands on a mesh network of inland ports, allowing a restructuring of European logistics for the benefit of the national territory. Associated with 4 platforms of industrial and logistics, will improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of territories traversed and served by promoting economic development and a competitive and sustainable mobility of goods to the nearest areas of production and consumption North of France and Europe.

Moreover, this new infrastructure will generate an estimated sustainable growth because it will multiply by 4 the river traffic along the North-South and 2 on the entire French network for the benefit of industrial clusters and logistical use the new wide-gauge track and can move along the river corridor from Havre to Lille. Thanks to a saving of 8 billion euros for transport costs and environmental benefits (reduction of fossil fuel consumption, pollution, noise, congestion, …) estimated at 2 billion euros, the Seine-North Europe and the French open port system more competitive and sustainable reliability to large urban areas and export.

Supported said the European Union, the project has been registered under the priority projects of trans-European transport in 2004 and in November 2007 the European Commission has allocated under the TEN-T 2007-2013 support of 420 million euros, 350 million euros for the French side. 333 million euros are intended for the Seine-Nord Europe.

Finally, concerning the creation of jobs, not less than 4500 direct jobs would be generated for the completion of construction of the canal, while in 2025, 25,000 new permanent jobs are expected in the logistics, industry and transportation.

ala:  Date de publication : jeudi 7 avril 2011

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