Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

Water 2009-BE-90204-S

Studies for the construction of three locks on the Upper-Scheldt


The Upper Scheldt is the most important north-south inland waterway axis in Flanders (between Ghent and France). The current locks (125.00 m x 14.00 m) at Asper, Oudenaarde and Kerkhove were built the 1920s and are thus old. Furthermore in case of malfunction, there is no alternative route for barges. These locks have also reached their maximum capacity, with a passage of approximately 11 million tons/year. Because of the limited draught at the lock sills, these locks obstruct the growth of the ship dimensions.


By constructing 3 new class Vb locks, larger vessels will be able to pass these locks, making inland shipping economically more attractive. Moreover, by keeping the existing locks in operation, an alternative will be present in case of malfunction or rupture in one of the locks. This way, inland shipping on this important axis from France to Ghent will become more economically attractive.


To be able to start the construction of the new locks in 2012, preliminary studies have started in 2009 and are due by the end of 2011. The main objective of this action is to execute these preliminary studies, notably a socio-economic study, an environmental impact assessment, analysis of the groundwater, design of the locks and the surrounding areas, study of the operational possibilities and communication initiatives.



This project has been completed.




Action promoter:



Total project cost covered by this Decision:



Percentage of EU support:


Studies: 50%

EU contribution:




Download the Info Sheet about this project:

 .pdf (389.4 KB)

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Member States involved:



Implementation schedule:

Start date: June 2009

End date: December 2011



Vlaamse Overheid - Beleidsdomein Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken


Implementing body:

Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV


Additional information:

 European Commission, DG MOVE

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