The Noorderzijlvest district water board in the Netherlands has awarded the contract for the Eemshaven-Delfzijl dike reinforcement project to a consortium consisting of Boskalis and KWS Infra.

The contract carries a value of more than €60 million, of which Boskalis' share is more than €40 million.

The project involves raising and widening the Wadden Sea dike between Eemshaven and Delfzijl over a distance of 12km as well as making the dike earthquake-proof. The operations will be carried out from the end of 2016 until the end of 2019.

The dike reinforcement project is part of the Dutch Flood Protection Program, an alliance of Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management) and all district water boards aimed at reinforcing primary dikes in a more innovative and robust manner.

At present the dike between Eemshaven and Delfzijl is strong enough but it does not meet the new government standards that will apply from 2017. The reason for this is rising sea levels and climate change, as well as earthquakes and subsidence due to gas extraction operations in the area.

By Larz Bourne