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Study of the market developments  

The objective of the study is to assess, on the basis of an economic and technical analysis, a number of policy instruments for efficiently stimulating the use of dredge, excavation and infrastructure spoil in Flanders. The task was undertaken within the framework of the Flemish Surface Minerals Resources Plan on behalf of the Flemish authorities, LNE department (Land and Soil Protection, Underground and Natural Resource division). The study was undertaken by IMDC together with VITO.

Present reuse of spoil in Flanders is limited, with only 30 percent of dredged spoil used as a secondary resource, indicating that it is very difficult to find a market for spoil. It is clear that a properly functioning structured market for spoil does not exist at present in Flanders. All relevant applications (both for clay and the sandy portion) are being investigated – filling trenches, cuttings or docks; for creating a dump; a dike or noise barrier, in nature restoration projects; for road and infrastructure projects; in sand cement and concrete power stations; etc.

Examples of the possible differentiating characteristics for the use of spoil include its environmental quality: can be reused as soil, as non-shaped building material, for dumping; who offers spoil and what is the location of the provider; the availability and the demand scenario for spoil over time. Possible policy instruments include levies, quality labels, a prohibition on dumping, a clearer regulating framework, specifications of types, etc.

The assignment consists of four phases:

  1. Identifying the instruments for promising market segments, in which the framework for the study is worked out and the focus is justified and tested;
  2. Technical-economic analysis of the Flemish market and instruments, in which the primary additional information is collected;
  3. Assessing the instruments and selecting the most promising instruments for Flanders, in which this information and the framework are introduced for initial evaluation;
  4. Evaluation of the proposed policy instruments, in which the evaluation is further refined and tested through an internal workshop.

Contact us

For more information about this project, contact:

dredging@imdc.be