The brand-new Willems quay alongside the Dessel-Kwaadmechelen canal was formally inaugurated in Balen.
Willems is part of Smulders, an international steel construction company that creates complex steel structures for the offshore wind industry, the civil market. Willems is already leading by example by constructing a brand-new quay along the Dessel-Kwaadmechelen canal in Balen, which serves as an additional “ramp” for the waterway. The business made an investment in the building of this new loading and unloading quay along with De Vlaamse Waterweg NV. By doing this, the company is stepping up its support for environmentally friendly transportation on waterways and growing as a “ambassador of the water highway.”
The new quay measures 186 meters in length, 1,350 meters in surface area, and 3.50 meters in depth. As a result, it can load and unload ships that weigh up to 2,000 tonnes.
“This new quay gives us the opportunity to further develop the supply of large steel constructions up to 8 m high and 22 m wide in a sustainable way; for example, for module construction for industry or bridge building. But also, and mainly, constructions for the offshore wind industry. This quay wall came about through a PPP collaboration with De Vlaamse Waterweg”, explains Raf Iemants, Managing Director Smulders.
De Brandt from Baasrode served as the project’s general contractor. The project will cost 1,600,000 euros in total (excl. VAT). Willems will use 110 m of the new loading and unloading quay, which was completed as part of the PPP quay program. In order to ensure a strong connection between the Willems quay and bridge 6 Balen-Hoolst, De Vlaamse Waterweg also made an investment in 78 m of new bank protection. The Willems company also contributed an additional EUR400,000 to the development of the quayside site.
Image source: Smulders