BRUSSELS, Belgium — The planned construction of up to 1,600 new cells moved closer after Belgian officials shortlisted bidders for four new prisons.
The four new prisons, which will be located in the regions of Flanders and Wallonia and incorporate 300 to 400 cells, will be delivered under public-private partnership, according to the Belgian Buildings Agency.
Procured separately, the design, build, finance and maintenance contracts, have an estimated capital expenditure value of approximately $83 million to approximately $111 million, officials say.
The new construction program is designed to replace aging infrastructure in Belgium’s overcrowded prison system — 20 of the country’s 32 facilities date back to the 1800s — which houses approximately 10,400 inmates and is operating at almost 120 percent of total capacity, according to official figures.
With committed offers due in February, the preferred bidders for each project will be selected in March, officials say.