The Netherlands’ Department of Public Works has awarded the contract to construct the 'Sand Engine' to Dutch contractors Van Oord and Boskalis. The Sand Engine will be constructed in front of the coast of Ter Heijde in the Province of Zuid-Holland. It will combine coastal defences with new recreational opportunities and nature conservation. The contract awarded to the Van Oord-Boskalis consortium is valued at EUR 50 million.
The Sand Engine project will involve depositing a huge quantity of sand in the sea in the shape of a hook. The base of the hook will be formed by the coastline. Wind, waves and ocean currents will gradually distribute the sand along the coast. 'Building with nature' in this way will ensure natural sand suppletion, so that the coastline grows. The Sand Engine will therefore help protect the coast and create new land for nature and recreational purposes.
The contract is an Engineering & Construct contract. That means that the consortium will be responsible for finalising the design and for carrying out the work. The award of the contract depended on the number of m3 of sand that could be provided for a fixed price of EUR 50 million. Van Oord and Boskalis will supply 21.5 million m3 of sand for this amount.
Public Works and Van Oord-Boskalis consortium will sign the contract on 22 December 2010. Work on the project will begin in early 2011 and take more than a year to complete. The contractors will be deploying trailing suction hopper dredgers to carry out the work. The Sand Engine should be completed by the spring of 2012.
The Sand Engine is another Dutch innovation that puts the Netherlands in the forefront of marine engineering worldwide. It is the first time that this method of coastal construction will be applied on such a large scale, and Public Works is therefore treating it as a pilot project. During and after construction, the authorities will be monitoring the impact of the Sand Engine on the ocean current, nature, recreation and coastal defences. Later, the Netherlands will be able to apply what it has learned about building sustainable, natural coastal defences all around the world, confirming its leading position in water management.
The Sand Engine pilot project is a joint venture between the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and the Province of Zuid-Holland. It is being carried out in close collaboration with the City of The Hague, the City of Rotterdam, the Municipality of Westland, the Delfland District Water Control Board, and the Environmental Federation for Zuid-Holland.
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