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The Netherlands

The impact of climate change means that a growing number of people around the world are now living in flood-risk areas. Serious water-related disasters are becoming more frequent, making prevention vital. As a company with deep roots in the Netherlands, Van Oord is well aware of the threats. We also know that they call for smart, innovative solutions to help us defend our coasts, reinforce our dykes and keep our waterways navigable and our ports accessible.

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Climate change is increasing the risk of flooding, both in coastal and delta regions. ‘With our headquarters in a country that is largely below sea level, we know all about this,’ says Ronald Schinagl, Van Oord’s Area Director Netherlands. ‘To guarantee that Dutch feet will stay dry, Van Oord regularly works on coastal defence and dyke reinforcement projects. Our ingenious solutions have helped make the Netherlands famous as a centre of water management expertise.’

We act as a sparring partner for the authorities in many different countries in their battle against flooding. As a leading contractor for dredging and marine engineering projects, we’ve not only come up with innovative flood management solutions for the Netherlands, but also for the United Kingdom and Indonesia.

Pieter van Oord, CEO
Pieter van Oord, CEO

Iconic project

The reinforcement of the Afsluitdijk is an iconic project and helps underline Van Oord’s status as a major player in the Netherlands. Sustainability was a key requirement in the project tender. In response, our project design adopted a ‘discharge if possible, pump if necessary’ approach that emphasises natural water discharge instead of pumping. Since the project also has to be carbon neutral, lower energy consumption of pumps means we will have to perform less environmental compensation work.

Innovative technology

The construction of the new A16 motorway is a highly visible project that will be executed on Van Oord’s home ground in Rotterdam. By relieving traffic congestion on the A13 and A20, the motorway will not only improve access to the city, it will also improve the quality of life in the region. We will be using state-of-the-art technology to execute this project, including a digital twin. It is a virtual representation of the motorway construction processes so we can anticipate any issues before they actually arise. This is one of the innovative concepts that helped us win the contract. It is also part of a wider development we are seeing in the industry where advanced technology is increasingly required to handle project volume and challenges.

Reinforcing shorelines

The Marker Wadden project involves dredging an additional channel of 900 metres to the south of the islands. This will create more space for the underwater capture of silt and help restore the environmental and water quality of the Markermeer. The dredged clayey material will be used to fill in two compartments while some of the sand dredged will be used to reinforce the southern edge of the first island, creating a natural shoreline that will improve the island’s ecology and robustness.


The Netherlands business unit has two subsidiaries: Paans Van Oord and Van Oord Grondstoffen.

Paans Van Oord specialises in inland dredging, coastal and survey work, and implements projects using a diverse fleet of crane ships and crane pontoons. In 2018, the new crane vessel Werkendam was christened. It is the first LNG-powered vessel in the Van Oord fleet and will be deployed in Paans Van Oord projects in the Netherlands.

Van Oord Grondstoffen is active in the field of ground, road and waterway construction. It will market the sand dredged from the Marker Wadden project.

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