Tilburg lock gates project awarded Water Innovation Prize
With its pioneering project in Tilburg, "the world's largest lock gates made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic," FiberCore Europe was chosen as the winner for the Dry Feet category out of more than 130 entries.
Annemieke Nijhof, jury president and CEO of Tauw Group B.V., was particularly enthusiastic about the product's combination of benefits. ''A powerful and effective innovation. A clear upscaling of a technique into the future. The quality of the product is high, it is sustainable and cost-conscious. Because of its size and the associated accumulation of knowledge, it has potential for export,'' the jury report said.
The project falls within the widening of Wilhelminakanaal in Tilburg, with the New Lock III being fitted with the largest composite lock doors in the world by mid-2015. Four doors measure 6.2 x 12.5 meters and the four smaller doors 6.2 x 5 meters. The doors turn a water height of more than eight meters. The application of composite lock doors is a joint initiative of the province of North Brabant, construction combination Heijmans-Boskalis, Konstruktiebedrijf Hillebrand and Rijkswaterstaat.
Construction combination Heijmans-Boskalis is acting as main contractor. Konstruktiebedrijf Hillebrand is responsible for the steel and movement work. FiberCore Europe and Heijmans, in collaboration with Konstruktiebedrijf Hillebrand, previously applied fiberglass-reinforced plastic in the world's largest lightweight bridge over the A27, with a 140-meter-long fiberglass-reinforced plastic driving deck.
With this innovative application, the parties are working together to make Brabant more sustainable and accessible by water. An additional novelty is the installation of a pond turbine, which generates electricity for about 250 households through hydropower.
The Union of Water Boards awards the Water Innovation Prize annually to the most innovative and outstanding water projects. This year, awards were presented in the categories ''Dry Feet,'' ''Sufficient Water,'' ''Clean Water,'' and ''Space for Innovation.'' FiberCore Europe's lock gates project competed in the ''Dry Feet'' category. Within this category, safety in particular is an important aspect. In terms of strength, durability and lifespan, composite is superior.
The win is yet another recognition of FiberCore Europe's InfraCore Inside technology and specifically its application in wet infrastructure. Earlier there were nominations for the Innovation Award Building Holland, the Prima Ondernemen Award and the WWF Clean Tech Star Award. In addition, FCE and its technology and products were named winners of the AVK Innovations Preis 2011, the InfraTech Belgium Innovation Award 2012, the HalfTime Innovation Award 2013 and were included in the prestigious FEM Tech25.