LANTIS, the project developer responsible for the prestigious ‘Oosterweel link’, which will complete the Antwerp Ring Road, has awarded the contract for the construction of the Scheldt tunnel to the “Tijdelijke Handelsvereniging Combinatie Oosterweeltunnel” (THV COTU) consortium today (3rd June 2020).

THV COTU is composed of the Belgian construction groups BESIX, BAM Contractors, DEME and Jan De Nul.

Known as the jewel in the crown of this crucial infrastructure project, the Scheldt tunnel will be the most important connecting element in the Oosterweel link and closes the Antwerp Ring Road on the north side. The tunnel has a total length of 1,800 m and will be built according to the ‘immersed tube’ method.

Eight tunnel elements of approximately 60,000 tonnes each will be built in the inner port of Zeebrugge and then towed to Antwerp via the North Sea and the Western Scheldt, where they will be immersed in a pre-dredged trench in the River Scheldt.

This technique, in which gravity and the upward force of water are constantly competing with each other, is one of the most ingenious building methods in concrete and hydraulic construction.

THV COTU is well aware of the challenges that such a project brings with it in a technically difficult environment such as the Scheldt in Antwerp. But the partners are confident that they have the necessary expertise and decades of experience to successfully achieve the realisation of this vital stage of the Oosterweel link project.

The first preparatory work will start in the autumn of 2020. Construction work for the tunnel itself will begin after the summer of 2021.


BESIX Group SA is a global player and the leading group in Belgium in the field of construction. Active since 1909, the group is based in Brussels and operates in Europe, the Middle East, Oceania, Africa, North America and Asia. Its achievements include the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest tower, the buildings of the European Parliament in Brussels, and the Grand Egyptian Museum, Egypt’s largest construction since the pyramids. In 2018, the Group achieved revenues of EUR 3.3 billion. BESIX has about 14,000 employees active in 25 countries on 5 continents.

About BAM Contractors

Day after day, our BAM employees help shape a better environment. This is also summarised in our baseline: Together we create space. We achieve this through the realisation of railway works, roadworks, tunnels and bridges that increase the safety and mobility of road users, and industrial projects that contribute to economic prosperity. With such expertise, we are also profiling ourselves as the best partner in the realisation of extensive and complex projects. Our national coverage also enables us to guarantee a close service to both our public and private customers. Multidisciplinary, sustainable and reliable; that is BAM Contractors to a tee. BAM Contractors is part of Royal BAM Group.

About DEME

DEME is a global leader in dredging, solutions for the offshore energy industry and infra marine and environmental works. The company boasts over 140 years of knowledge and experience. DEME is active in all seas and continents and has 5,200 employees worldwide. With a versatile and modern fleet of over 100 ships, the company offers solutions for even the most complex projects. DEME achieved a turnover of 2.62 billion euros in 2019.

About Jan De Nul Group

Design. Build. Connect. Jan De Nul Group shapes water and land. Worldwide. From complex services to the offshore energy and energy transition sector, over large dredging and defence works on the edge of water and land, to challenging civil and environmental works. Well-integrated competencies and investments lead to creative, sustainable and innovative solutions. In this way, Jan De Nul Group delivers results that produce satisfied customers. Today, but also tomorrow.