First Gate for ‘World’s Largest Sea Lock’ Arrives in IJmuiden, Netherlands

world's largest lock construction
Photo: Port of Amsterdam

The first of three lock gates for the new, larger lock being constructed at the entrance of the North Sea Canal at IJmuiden, Netherlands arrived at its final destination this week after being transported from South Korea.

The lock gate was towed by a tug from Maasvlakte 2 at the Port of Rotterdam across the North Sea to IJmuiden where it will be used in the construction of what will become the largest sea lock in the world, providing access to the Amsterdam port region to larger seagoing vessels.

The three lock gates arrived in the Netherlands from South Korea aboard the heavy lift vessel Talisman on 6 December 2018. Due to their size, the gates has to be unloaded in Rotterdam before transport to IJmuiden.

To accommodate ever larger vessels, OpenIJ has been working on the construction of the new lock at IJmuiden since 2016. At an enormous 500 meters long, 70 meters wide and 18 meters deep, the lock will be the largest in the world.

“It is good that – after a long journey – the first lock gate has now arrived at its destination,” said Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen. “This is a milestone for this project and the start of a new chapter in the construction of the largest sea lock in the world.”

The new gate which arrived this week measures 72 meters long, 24 meters high and 11 meters wide, and weighs approximately 3,000 tons. As soon as the weather permits, the other two lock gates will also be towed from Maasvlakte to IJmuiden.

The project is a joint venture between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Province of North Holland, the Municipality of Amsterdam, Port of Amsterdam and the Municipality of Velsen.

Construction activities at the site of the new lock are now in full swing, with more than 200,000 m3 of concrete now poured.