The BASF site in the port of Antwerp is now more accessible again. After previous blockages on Wednesday and Thursday, a new action on the A12 in Zandvliet again caused major disruption on Friday. The farmers have opened a parallel road to the A12, making it easier for trucks to reach the site.
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BASF Antwerp, with 600 hectares, is the largest chemical production site in our country. But because it’s practically on its own island, cutting off access is relatively easy. “Due to the blockages at the Zandvlietsluis and the Noordland Bridge, our site has been completely enclosed since Wednesday evening,” spokesperson Lotte Dierckx said on Thursday. “Our colleagues are allowed through gradually and with much delay. This is very difficult due to the traffic congestion that has arisen.”
3,700 people work at the site. BASF Antwerp also receives around 350 trucks every day, and for them there was no way through at all. The company says it shares many of the farmers’ concerns. “We understand that, but absolutely not for their actions, which hit us hard. We are examining whether we can recover the economic damage suffered from the activists.”
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On Thursday evening, BASF sent a bailiff to remove the blockages. “We always opted for consultation first, but when it turned out that this did not help, we decided to call in a bailiff to break the blockade with a warrant,” says Dierckx.
However, a new action took place in the early hours of Friday, this time on the A12 in Zandvliet. “Our site was accessible in theory, but in practice this was very difficult due to the major traffic disruption in the area,” says Dierckx. That is why BASF sent a bailiff a second time.
Ultimately, the bailiff did not have to take action. When he arrived on the scene, the protesting farmers were already breaking their blockade on the service road next to the A12. The bailiff did have a conversation with the farmers, who indicated that they will keep the parallel road clear and will not allow the situation on the A12 to escalate further. They do remain on the highway.