Did you know that MTEE was actually built under the sea level? Almere is part of the province of Flevoland, which was made in the 1950’s by reclaiming land from the sea. This makes it the youngest province in the Netherlands.
Flevoland is built on where the “Zuiderzee” used to be. It used to cause many floods, making the surrounding regions dangerous to live in. It was the engineer “Cornelis Lely” who came up with the idea to reclaim the land, already back in 1891. Later a city was named after him. “Lelystad”, the capital of Flevoland and the second largest city after Almere .
Flevoland is known as the world’s largest reclamation project. In 1916, a flood disaster hit the surrounding areas of the Zuiderzee. This accident suddenly pushed the project forward. Two years after, in 1918, a law was passed to close and drain the Zuiderzee. The project started in 1924 by building a 2.5 km long dyke, connecting the mainland of Holland with the Island of Wiederingen. A second dyke was then built to connect Wiederingen with the Frisian mainland. Since the remains of the Zuiderzee was no longer connected to the ocean, it was renamed “Ijsselmeer”. At the closure of the dyke is a board saying: Een land dat leeft, bouwt aan zijn toekomst, meaning: A nation that lives, builds its own future .
The Province of Flevoland is located only 30 kilometers from the city of Amsterdam.
New living space
The land reclamation also served another purpose. The cities were getting crowded and more areas were needed for living space. The first houses were ready in 1967 and today, more than 400.000 people are living in the province of Flevoland. However, a lot of the province has been preserved for nature. This includes a huge national park where you can find flocks of wild horses, dears, foxes and many types of birds. Furthermore, Flevoland also houses one of the largest open tulip fields in the Netherlands.
MTEE is founded
In 1989, MTEE (back then known as MEE) opens a new factory on Flevoland as one of the first companies. Other Japanese companies follow to this area, such as Yanmar, Yakult and Mitsubishi Forklift. The new vast land is a good area to build a factory and MTEE has plenty of land to gradually expand to six factories.
Due to the fact that Flevoland is built on the sea, old shipwrecks are often found deep below the ground. So far, 435 shipwrecks have been found. Hereof, 300 have been investigated. If the shipwreck is interesting to historians, it will usually continue to be preserved in the ground. 18 ships have received monument status, and some of these have an artwork above ground to inform people of the treasure below their feet .