EPCM of Seine-Nord Europe Canal locks: Egis, lead contractor of One consortium

02/11/2021

Egis, leader of the One consortium (Ingérop, ISL, SBE, Michel Desvigne Paysage and AEI Architecture), is project manager for the locks of the Seine-Nord Europe Canal, which are among the deepest in Europe.

Egis and its partners are managing the project for the five main locks of the Seine-Nord Europe Canal, three of which will be among the deepest locks in Europe. Recycling excavated materials, limiting the use of concrete and optimising vessel passage times are just a few of the technical challenges our teams have to meet, in terms of both design and works supervision.

The Seine-Nord Europe Canal is the central link in the Seine-Escaut European priority project. This project consists of the construction of a wide-gauge waterway link between France and the northern European networks within the North Sea-Mediterranean multimodal corridor in order to more effectively connect the seaports and inland ports of northern France and Europe.

The canal has five wide-gauge locks with rises ranging from 13 to 26 m. These structures, which will become the deepest locks in France, will make it possible to transport convoys from the Paris region in the south to the river network of northern France and then to Europe. Egis and its partners are tasked with carrying out the design studies (scheduled over 3 years), and supervising the works phase (over 6 years).

Structures essential to river traffic

Iconic features of the future canal, the locks are engineering structures that enabling vessels to cross land that is not level, in a manner comparable to using a staircase.

The maximum rise of the locks of the Seine-Nord Europe Canal has been limited so that it takes no more than 30 minutes to pass through each lock. This passage time dictates the number of boats that can use the locks during the day, and therefore the canal’s traffic capacity. An additional lock of intermediate gauge, also designed by the One consortium, will be necessary at Allaines (Somme) to connect the Canal du Nord with the new Seine-Nord Europe Canal.

Innovative design

This contract endorses Egis' experience and know-how in the field of maritime and waterway engineering structures. The design of the locks is a technical challenge that is all the more important as three of them will be among the deepest locks in Europe.

The One consortium possesses all the skills required to accomplish this large-scale project: hydraulic engineering, civil engineering for major structures, materials, systems, etc. All these specialities will be pooled to define an innovative design, with the main objectives of maximising the recycling of materials extracted on site and limiting the use of concrete, achieving peak performance in terms of reliability, reducing the time taken by boats to pass through the locks and limiting the locks' water requirements through a save and recycle system.