50 years of case law that transformed marine infrastructure contracts

This article reviews various court cases over the past 50 years and considers their influence on marine infrastructure contracts and the allocation of risk between contract parties. The establishment of case law and legal precedent is an ever-evolving process, it being dependent on claimants to put their disputes through the court process to seek the outcome they desire. It is often a long and costly process. The rise of adjudication in various common law jurisdictions and countries means that often disputes are resolved without recourse to the courts and various industry standard contracts have arbitration as the final and binding mechanism to resolve disputes.

The valuation of externalities in maritime infrastructure projects

Climate change and increasing environmental damage are demonstrating the urgency of transformation to a sustainable global economic model. The implementation of the sustainable development concept tends to narrow to integrating environmental, social, and economic concerns in the decision making. In economics, the definition of such concerns is an externality that represents the divergence between social and private costs. This study investigates the available sustainable asset valuation methods that can include the externalities materialised in maritime infrastructure projects and compares them based on economic, social and environmental criteria.

The responsible project: A view on social licence

In today’s world, expectations for sustainable practices are fast becoming the norm. Countries, the public and communities are requesting transparency, the application of higher environmental standards and involvement in decision-making processes when new developments in a marine environment are proposed. Marine infrastructure projects not only require environmental permits and works licences to be in place, they also need a Social Licence to Operate (SLO). This article describes the social licence in this fast-changing context of information and technology, and explores tools that can be used to develop a ‘responsible project’ and provide a successful and sustainable outcome for society and the environment.

Presentation: ‘Private Financing of Green Solutions’ by Mark van Geest (Boskalis) − Project Finance Manager

Private capital can accelerate the green transition of sustainable infrastructure solutions, so how can we unlock the private capital potential?

Presentation: ‘Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defence an example of sustainable asset valuatio’ by Sven Kramer (Van Oord) − Director Sustainability

This presentation shows the practical implications of taking all externalities into consideration as early as possible in a project procedure. It is complex but asset valuation is gradually becoming more and more feasible for large infrastructure projects. The independent International Institute of Sustainable Development carried out a study on the benefits of “Nature Based” coastal Protection compared to traditional “Grey” solutions. Their report is expected to be published mid-November 2021.

Presentation: ‘There is ”more” in maritime infrastructure‘ by Marc Huygens (DEME) − Environmental Manager

There are opportunities to develop and implement new solutions for maritime infrastructure challenges. In addition to technical-economical values there is a big commitment to create both environmental and social values. To take the industry to the next level it is necessary to attract students and young professionals to the industry to ensure all externalities are taken into consideration from the onset of a project. The “Social Benefits Wheel” is a tool that can help track the degree to which a project or programme is attaining its social development targets and goals.

Balancing project progress and limited system knowledge in Amatique Bay

The development of a new marine project demands a system approach in which all aspects, including technical, economic, environmental and social, are considered and integrated equally and at an early stage. While insufficient information may be available to make informed decisions, choices need to be made to progress a project, assess impacts and risks, and engage stakeholders. This article explores the case of a new port terminal in Amatique Bay, Guatemala. A method was developed to assess, at an early stage, the potential negative impacts on seagrass habitats from the disposal of dredged material at different locations, while having limited real-time and location-specific information at hand.

Adverse physical conditions: Legal development and changes in risk profiles

In the past decade, there have been noteworthy advances in case law with respect to adverse physical conditions as well as the development and use of digital ground models that have become more widespread. This article looks at the development and changes in risk profiles that may result due to these two developments.