Jan De Nul acquires first lock construction contract in The Netherlands

Project company Sas van Vreeswijk (SPC) achieved financial close of the PPS project ‘Construction 3rd lock chamber Princess Beatrix Lock and widening Lek Canal’. Sas van Vreeswijk consists of TDP NV (in partnership with investment companies TINC and DG Infra Yield), BESIX Group NV, RebelValley B.V., Heijmans Nederland B.V. and Jan De Nul NV. The financial close is a key milestone for this project with a net present value of approximately 133 million euro.

The project’s financing requirement amounts to approximately 184 million euro. The shareholder capital is supplemented with loans from BNG Bank, DekaBank and KBC Bank. BNG Bank also serves as the agent of the lenders. On 15 January 2016, the DBFM contract was signed by Rijkswaterstaat (the Directorate-General of Public Works and Water Management) and Sas van Vreeswijk.

Works completed by 2019

Rijkswaterstaat aims to improve passage for barges through the Lek Canal near Nieuwegein and to reduce waiting times at the Beatrix Lock. The project includes the construction of a third lock chamber, the renovation of the existing two lock chambers, the widening of the Lek Canal and the construction of lock approaches and berths in the canal. The Lek Canal, which incorporates the Princess Beatrix Lock, connects the Amsterdam Rhine Canal to the Lek River, and is an important waterway between the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The completion of the construction works is anticipated by 2019, when the 27-year maintenance period will start.

Sas van Vreeswijk

The project company has chosen the name Sas van Vreeswijk to highlight the historical connection between locks, skippers and local residents. After all, the village of Vreeswijk arose by virtue of the locks. This is where River Vaartse Rijn joins the Lek River. In the old days, it connected the city of Utrecht to the Lek River. In the late 19th century, the Queen’s Locks were constructed, followed by the Beatrix Lock in 1938 as such bounding the village of Vreeswijk with shipping and the locks. Sas is a playful reference to the Belgian share in the consortium: ‘sas’ is a Flemish term referring to locks or lock chambers.

Advisors

Advisers to Sas van Vreeswijk for the financial close included: Rebel (financial adviser consortium), Clifford Chance (legal adviser consortium), Allen & Overy (legal adviser lenders), Steer Davies Gleave (technical adviser lenders), Marsh (insurance adviser consortium and lenders), Mazars (model audit, tax adviser consortium). Rijkswaterstaat was advised by: PwC (financial adviser) and Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn (legal adviser).