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Mike Knowles

BY MIKE KNOWLES

@mikefruitnet

Holland approves Antwerp river plan

Crucial deepening of the Scheldt River, which flows through Holland into the Port of Antwerp, has finally been given the green light

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Work to deepen the Dutch stretch of the Scheldt River, which flows into the Port of Antwerp in Belgium, is expected to begin later this year after Dutch officials approved four treaties ratified by Belgium's Flemish authorities at the start of last year.

Its name be derived from the Old Englsh word for shallow, but the need to make the Scheldt deeper has become more and more crucial over the past few years as the size of vessels looking to stop at Antwerp and other northern European ports has grown, driven in particular by increases in containerised perishable freight.

The four Scheldt treaties were put together by the Netherlands and Flanders at the end of 2005, laying out plans for the future management of traffic, flood defences and natural environments associated with the river course and its use by the Port of Antwerp.

Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters said he was pleased that the Dutch had at last approved the treaties.

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