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Aisne and Meuse River dams, France

Built more than a century and a half ago, the needle dams on the Aisne and Meuse Rivers are difficult and dangerous for Voie Navigable de France (VNF) to operate and need to be rebuilt and upgraded.

The large-scale river infrastructure automation plan, which covers four départements and 41 municipalities, is being carried out under a public private partnership. This first PPP contract for river works has a value of €312 million and runs for 30 years, including five years of works. It was signed in 2013 with special purpose vehicle Bameo, jointly held by VINCI Concessions (50%), investment fund Meridiam and Shema (EDF Group).

In 2016, Bameo signed a first operation contract with the Corebam joint venture made up of four VINCI Construction France subsidiaries. It covers replacement of 29 manually operated dams with modern, automated dams and the modification of two further dams. Located on the Aisne and Meuse Rivers, they will be part of a comprehensive automated operating system to be implemented by VINCI Energies.

The technique, used for the first time in France for inland waterway dams, will consist in fitting the dams with water-filled inflatable barriers. Some dams will also be fitted with innovative Very Low Head (VLH) hydroelectric turbines to supply a total of 15 million kWh.

Environmental goals

To protect the environment each of these structures will be fitted with a fish ladder, with particular attention to architecture and landscape.

The dams are set to begin operating in 2020.

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