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Green light for river access channel to HAROPA’s Port 2000

Green light for river access channel to HAROPA’s Port 2000

(Posted on 15/04/24)

The Administrative Court in Rouen, France has dismissed a summary motion seeking the suspension of application of the government’s official order of 19 June 2023 authorising the start of work on the channel. It stated that “at the current stage in proceedings, none of the arguments put forward [by the applicants] is such as to justify serious doubts as to the legality of the contested order. Consequently, their conclusions arguing for suspension of the application of said order must be dismissed, without need for a ruling on the matter of urgency.”

The structure involved comprises a river channel 1,800 metres in length protected by an embankment that will provide a direct connection between Port 2000 and the Seine basin, France’s largest employment and consumer catchment area.

The project enjoys the support of the Normandy regional authority, which is contributing €82.75m, of central government, with €23.60m, and €11m in EU funds. This investment is of strategic importance for the development of multimodality along the Seine Axis as a whole and the creation of a green corridor for the decarbonisation of our logistics chains.

The preparatory work for the construction of the embankment commenced at the beginning of this year. Completion will take nearly two years.

“This project is in line with the national policy for the development of river transportation of goods by creating a direct river access to the terminals at Port 2000 in the Le Havre municipal district. The protected route created between the outer basin of the historical port and that of Port 2000 will allow river barges to enter and exit in all weather and tidal conditions. The ways and means devoted to the execution of the planned operations have been chosen in order to limit the impacts on the natural environment. In addition, the massification of river goods traffic will help reduce CO2 emissions. A monitoring committee has been set up to track the operations and their effects on the environment.” Jean-Benoît Albertini, Prefect for Normandy Region, Prefect for the Seine-Maritime département.

“The “cat flap” is an essential piece of infrastructure for the port of Le Havre for which the Seine port community has been waiting for the last 20 years. It will allow all types of river barge to reach Port 2000’s container terminals. By permitting the resumption of work, this court ruling will at last help consolidate Le Havre’s place in international logistics chains, making it a natural point of entry for France and Northern Europe, thereby bolstering Europe’s foreign trade.” Hervé Morin, Chair of the Normandy Regional authority.

“I am delighted with this ruling by the Administrative Court in Rouen. It allows us to continue the work we have begun on the creation of a direct river access to Port 2000, subject to adherence to the commitments given to the national council for the protection of nature. It is excellent news for the Le Havre port community and all stakeholders along the Seine Axis.” Stéphane Raison, CEO and chair of the board of management of HAROPA Port.

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